Jun 29, 2016

Death toll rises to four in California wildfires as bodies found in rural area

Potrero, CA
USA
by
Brittny Mejia and Pauline Repard
,
Los Angeles Times
Deputies carry the remains of two victims of the Border fire down from the hillside where their bodies were discovered by neighbors. Photo: John Gibbins / San Diego Union-Tribune
Deputies carry the remains of two victims of the Border fire down from the hillside where their bodies were discovered by neighbors. Photo: John Gibbins / San Diego Union-Tribune

A series of deadly brush fires that hit Southern California this month claimed two more victims, as authorities Wednesday confirmed the discovery of two bodies in a rural area scorched by the Border fire in San Diego County. 

That brings the number to four people killed by the fires, which together burned more than 60,000 acres and destroyed more than 100 homes, the vast majority in communities near Lake Isabella in Kern County.

As of Wednesday, 4,000 firefighters are battling 12 large wildfires throughout California, according to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant.

It marks a destructive start to what officials have warned could be a grim fire season as California enters a fifth year of drought and some forests are filled with dead or dying trees stricken by the bark beetle. 

Residents near the U.S.-Mexico border said Wednesday that they had found two bodies believed to be those of a couple who had been missing since the 7,609-acre Border fire erupted near Potrero last week