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Death Toll Climbs to 40 in California's Deadliest Wildfire Outbreak Ever

10-14-2017
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WASHINGTON – More than a dozen wildfires continue to burn across California where 40 deaths have now been confirmed.
 
This is the deadliest and most destructive wildfire outbreak in the state's history with dozens of people still missing and at least 5,700 homes and businesses destroyed.   
 
However, after a week of devastation, signs of hope are starting to emerge. Due to weakening winds, officials say they're gaining a lead on many of the fires.  
 
Still, there's a long way to go as flames continue to threaten many homes and vineyards.
 
Roughly 25,000 evacuees have been allowed to return home, bringing the total number of evacuation orders to 75,000, down from what was 100,000.
 
For those who do get to return home, many are finding little left.
 
Bob Boyatte lost everything, but that's not stopping him and others from helping where they can.
 
He's opened up his grocery stores to feed firefighters and first responders.
 
"It's our job to take care of the community and do what we can and we got all the stores open," Boyatte said. "This is our family here."  

Most of the people killed by the fires are believed to have died late on Oct. 8 or early Oct. 9, when the fires exploded and took people by surprise in the dead of night.

Most of the victims were elderly, though they ranged in age from 14 to 100.

READ: 75 Years Married, WWII Vet and Wife Die in California's Atlas Peak Fire

 

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