Shocking Footage Shows Scorched Remains of California Town After Savage Wildfires
Eerie footage shared on 11 September shows scorched cars and rubble after the Bear Fire tore through Berry Creek, California:
Craig Philpott, an independent fire reporter who captured these images, described assessing the scene as an 'emotional experience'.
According to California Fire officials, 417 structures have been destroyed, including 253 homes, and another 38 buildings have been damaged.
Assessing Berry Creek is an emotional experience, so much damage and so few positive views. Huge infrastructure damage to poles and lines. So many lost homes #BerryCreek #NorthComplexWestZone #BearFire going to attempt to reach Forbestown tonight- craig philpott (@CphilpottCraig) September 12, 2020
Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said Saturday night the number of people believed to have died in the North Complex Fire has increased to 12, up from nine on Friday. It's believed that the death toll is now 14.
Honea explained on Saturday evening [12 September]: "I don't have any further information about where those remains were recovered."
In terms of the number of people missing and welfare checks, Honea said his office has received 174 such calls and successfully cleared 149 of them. He said 13 people are unaccounted for and that detectives are continuing to search for them.
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Paige Hanson, a Berry Creek resident, explained: "We were definitely way more prepared. I didn't underestimate this fire. I knew: 'ok, it may turn bad so grab everything important this time. Don't expect to come back, because you may not.' And we ended up not."
Paul Clement, added: "I decided I'd better get out now and when I came around the bend, everything was on fire. An entire hillside. So I ended up driving through and you couldn't see 50 feet. It was worse than the Camp Fire, which I didn't think was possible."
According to CBS, the blaze travelled 30 miles over an 18 hour stretch after it jumped over the fire lines towards Berry Creek which was when people started attempting to escape.
Elizabeth Jernberg, owner of E&J's Mobile Kitchen said: "I'm out there feeding the survivors of the North Complex and Bear fires. I am a survivor from the Camp Fire as well out of Paradise.
"And I just fell compelled to help. We helped with the Camp Fire community and we want to help with our surrounding communities as well."
Featured Image Credit: Storyful
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