Three people were killed and several others were injured in California’s Bear Fire, which is currently ripping through Butte County.
Two of the victims were found together, while a third was found at a different location, Butte County Sheriff Kory L. Honea said during a Wednesday news briefing.
“We are still in the process of recovering those remains and investigating those scenes. We have yet to positively identify those individuals or notify their next of kin,” Honea said.
Multiple other people were injured after getting trapped in the fire overnight, KCRA3 reported.
The Bear Fire began Tuesday and has been grouped together in the larger Northern Complex Fire, which is among an unprecedented number of blazes burning across northern California, Oregon and Washington.
More than two million acres of land have burned in California alone, where massive smoke plumes have blotted out the sun and turned city skies an ominous shade of orange.
“I certainly hope that this isn’t the trend, but, folks, time and time again we have seen how dangerous wildfires can be,” Honea went on. “We cannot underestimate what they can do to your community and the people that we love.”
Officials along the coast have warned of a historic loss of wilderness and personal property as entire counties have been ordered to evacuate.
“I want to be upfront in saying that we expect to see a great deal of loss both in structures and in human lives,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said during a briefing, The Oregonian reported. “This could be the greatest loss of human lives and property due to wildfire in our state’s history.”
The death toll is currently unclear as firefighters still work to try and take the wildfires under control.
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