There was good news from Cal Fire on Thursday night: The deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history is nearly 100-percent contained.
Aided by the first measurable rainfall in months, the state’s fire management agency reported 95 percent containment on the historic Camp Fire that has scorched 153,336 acres while burning a hole into the heart of the Golden State. There was just a single additional fatality reported on Thanksgiving Day, Cal Fire confirmed to the Redding Record Searchlight, a member of the USA TODAY Network.
The Camp Fire’s devastation has been staggering, with the death toll at 84 – more than the combined total of the three previous deadliest fires in the state’s history. The total is likely to rise, too, with 563 people still reported to be missing through Paradise, a town of 27,000 that was erased by the flames, and the surrounding area. Nearly 19,000 structures have been destroyed, including 13,906 homes and 514 commercial buildings.
The fire is no longer threatening any structures.
While the grim chore of locating additional human remains was slowed by the rains that moved across California on Wednesday night, the precipitation “minimized fire activity,” Cal Fire said Thursday night, adding that “all fire lines continue to hold.”
Since beginning on the morning of Nov. 8, the Camp Fire has blackened 239 square miles northeast of the state capital city of Sacramento, or roughly the equivalent of the entire land area of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The fire’s size dwarfs many major American cities, including Detroit (139 square miles), Seattle (84), Washington, D.C. (61) and Minneapolis (54).