Grim search for more victims as 31 confirmed dead in California wildfires

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It now equals the deadliest wildfire on record in California - the 1933 Griffith Park disaster in Los Angeles. Two people have died.

Officials said they did not know how many people were missing four days after the fire swept over the town of 27,000 and practically wiped it off the map with flames so fierce that authorities brought in a mobile DNA lab and forensic anthropologists to help identify the dead.

That's why it will be critical for the state of California to assist PG&E if it is found liable for the Camp Fire.

Gusty, dry Santa Ana winds returned Monday and fanned several much smaller new fires and containment of the Woolsey fire was estimated at just 20 percent. Authorities said 228 people are still unaccounted for.

Ellen Walker, who was in her early 70s, was home alone when the fire struck on Thursday, according to Nancy Breeding, a family friend.

His office has established additional hotlines for those trying to locate their loved ones.

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Some of the thousands of people forced from their homes by the blaze were allowed to return, and authorities reopened US 101, a major freeway through the fire zone in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

BALCH: What the trend has been is that we've seen the number of large fires increase fivefold since the 1970s.

Scott Jalbert, chief of Cal Fire's San Luis Obispo Unit, said Sunday morning: "Sadly, with these winds, it's not over yet". He called on people in the fire's path to evacuate and blamed the tragedy on poor forest management.

Researchers project that moist, forested areas are the most likely to face greater threats from wildfires as conditions in those areas become drier and hotter.

Firefighters battling fire with shovels and bulldozers, flame retardant and hoses expected wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour (64 kph) overnight Sunday.

A red flag warning was in effect until 7 a.m. PT on Monday.

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On Saturday, the blaze had calmed down for a moment in the north and south of California.

The couple, who owned a $2.5 million four-bedroom home in Malibu, are among the hundreds of thousands of California residents who were forced to evacuate as flames ripped through the area.

The state fire agency said the fire had grown to 177 square miles and was 25% contained. "These embers were lofted into the air, causing long-range spotting that enabled the fires to jump wide highways and cause damage far beyond the flaming fronts".

"We basically left with the clothes on our bodies, some pictures from the wall, some religious items", said Fortier, who fled along with his wife, Shandra, and their three children. Five of the bodies found Sunday were in homes.

Numerous bodies recovered in the Camp fire were found inside or near homes or in vehicles, officials said.

Some mandatory evacuation orders in the region have lifted, including areas in Thousand Oaks, where authorities anticipate sporadic utility outages. Despite the devastating situation, he thanked the firefighters in his caption, "Inspired as ever by the courage, spirit, and sacrifice of firefighters".

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"We're all very exhausted". "And that's what hurts, those kinds of things hurt, because you can't replace that". Two people were killed and the fire had destroyed almost 180 structures.