Death toll rises to 48 as California Camp Fire rages on

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While the so-called Camp Fire in the north has exacted a devastating human toll of 42 lives so far and essentially erased the town of Paradise, down south the flames have killed two people whose bodies were found in a vehicle. The Butte County town has been all but wiped clean off the map by a fire that's claimed an estimated 6,700 homes and structures, some of which belonged to the emergency responders who were fighting to evacuate the town and get residents to safety.

There are still over 200 people missing, leaving dozens anxious for news of their loved ones.

Almost 9,000 firefighters, many from out of state, were battling to suppress the Camp Fire, the Woolsey Fire and a handful of smaller Southern California blazes, backed by squadrons of water-dropping helicopters and airplane tankers.

The ongoing Camp Fire is the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the history of California.

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The bulk of the destruction and loss of life occurred in and around the town of Paradise, where flames reduced most of the buildings to ash and rubble on Thursday night, just hours after the blaze erupted. About 7,700 homes were destroyed.

Myrna Pascua, whose husband was best friends with the 48-year-old called him a "tireless provider, a dependable and loyal friend, a considerate neighbour, and loving father".

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said Monday that search teams were using "cadaver dogs" to look for fire victims and two temporary military morgues were being set up.

Gerard Butler also confirmed that he was among the hundred of Californians who lost their homes, and posted a devastating video from his property.

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While the Hill Fire is 90 percent contained as of Tuesday morning, the Woolsey Fire is only 35 percent contained, and the Camp Fire 30 percent contained.

But that wasn't the line taken by President Donald Trump, who blamed poor forest management, not global warming, for the blazes.

Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Janie Har and Jocelyn Gecker in San Francisco; Paul Elias and Martha Mendoza in Chico, California; and Andrew Selsky in Salem, Oregon.

"This is not the new normal, this is the new abnormal", California Governor Jerry Brown said in a stark warning over the likely damaging effects of climate change.

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Do they know what caused the fires?

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