DNA Testing Used To ID Fire Victims, August Complex Grows To Over 800,000 Acres

A 72-year-old man found dead in a vehicle and two other people discovered on a roadway were among the latest victims of the deadliest wildfire in California this year. The Butte County Sheriff’s Office said DNA testing was used to positively identify 12 of 15 people killed last week in the North Complex of fires in Plumas and Butte Counties. 1,078 residential and commercial structures have been destroyed, mostly in Berry Creek, Feather Falls and other communities northeast of Lake Oroville. The 280,800 acre complex includes the Bear Fire, or “North Complex West Zone”, along with the Sheep and Claremont Fires. Overall containment is estimated at 36%. More than 3100 personnel are assigned to the complex.

The North and South Zones of the August Lightning Complex are merging together near the Mendocino/Trinity County line to form the largest fire in California history. The size now totals a staggering 818,000 acres with 30% overall containment. Many of the islands of unburned areas within the complex have been burned over as the bulk of the fire moves toward the west. A number of evacuations have been ordered for Trinity County, including Forest Glen, Post Mountain, Trinity Pines, Ruth, Zenia, Kettenpom and Hettenshaw Valley.

The Slater Fire that started last Monday in the Klamath National Forest is being managed along with the Devil’s Fire with a total size of over 150,000 acres. It’s still only 10% contained. All of Happy Camp and surrounding communities are evacuated as hundreds of homes have been lost and at least 2 civilians have died. Part of the Slater Fire is burning in Oregon.

The Red Salmon Complex, been burning since July 27th in the Trinity Alps Wilderness about 8 miles northeast of Willow Creek, has expanded to 101,000 acres, prompting evacuation orders. Containment is estimated at 17%. The fire is being fought by Forest Service crews, along with the Hoopa Valley Tribe, the Yurok Tribe and the Karuk Tribe. Evacuation orders have been issued for an area from Butler Flat to 10 miles East of Forks of Salmon and south to Plummer Creek.