The death toll from California’s fires has risen to 59, with thousands of homes destroyed in Malibu and Northern California

  • The death toll from the California wildfires had risen to 59. On Wednesday, eight more bodies were recovered.
  • The Camp Fire in northern California destroyed an entire town in less than a day and has killed at least 56 people, making it the deadliest fire in the state’s history. Authorities said it was 40% contained on Thursday.
  • The Woolsey Fire on the outskirts of LA has burned more than 150 square miles, and is 57% contained.
  • The flames have been fueled by dry, hot conditions and strong winds, but firefighters are making gains, and no more homes are under imminent threat.
  • California wildfires are becoming so frequent and pervasive that officials there say there’s almost no need for the term “wildfire season” anymore.

The flames from California’s deadliest wildfire are beginning to retreat into forested, unpopulated areas of the state, but the death toll is still rising.

Eight new victims of the Camp Fire were found Wednesday, six of them inside structures, an indication they might’ve burned to death in their homes before they had time to escape. That brings the total number of dead from the fire in northern California to 56 people, with more than 130 others still missing, many of them elderly.

The fire, which continues to rage across Butte County, less than 100 miles north of Sacramento, is now roughly one-third contained. So far, it has scorched 218 square miles of land, an area nearly the size of Chicago.

The other dangerous wildfire raging in California, the Woolsey Fire, has burned more than 150 square miles in the hills around Los Angeles. Residents of Malibu and other LA suburbs whose homes were in the path of the flames are beginning to return home to charred shells, as firefighters strengthen their hold on those flames. Two people were killed in the Woolsey fire last Friday, and a third body was found in a burned home in Agoura Hills on Wednesday, bringing the statewide death toll from both fires to 59.