Jeffrey Schaub/KCBS Radio

Identifying Fire Victims Becomes Challenge As Death Toll Grows To 29

Jeffrey Schaub
November 11, 2018 - 5:33 pm

PARADISE —The official death toll rose to 29 with the discovery of the remains of six people on Sunday while 229 people were still missing, according to Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea.

That number matched the total for the deadliest single fire in California history. It had already been dubbed the most destructive in the state's record for the loss of 6,700 homes and businesses.

Honea said earlier on Sunday that an additional coroners unit is being brought on to help find bodies in the burned areas in and around Paradise, the city at the epicenter of the 109,000-acre fire which ignited on Nov. 8. 

The fire was 25 percent contained, officials said. 

A DNA lab truck will assist in the identification of human remains. In some cases, only bones or bone fragments have been found.

The cause of the huge fire is under investigation.