Authorities in Northern California said on Wednesday a body was found in a wildfire burning in the Sierra Nevada Foothills as firefighters got some help from heavy rain in the area.
The Calaveras Sheriff’s Department said the body was found in a burned-out home 60 miles southeast of Sacramento. The blaze in Amador and Calaveras counties has destroyed at least 233 homes and charted more than 110 square miles.
As of Wednesday, the fire was 45 percent contained.
"All of our memories, everything is gone"
While the fires have been more destructive than deadly, many who have escaped will return to find almost nothing left.
“We didn’t have a chance to react,” Northern California ranch manager Martha Grimm said. “It was here and we got out with the clothes on our back. All of our memories, everything is gone.
A fire that roared through Lake County was 30 percent contained Wednesday morning, but it had consumed more than 105 square miles. The area saw heavy rain during the day, a welcome sight for those fighting the blaze.
Authorities were using cadaver dogs to search for a former police reporter and several other people officials fear were killed in the fire.
Some residents who had been evacuated got their first look at what was left of their homes on Tuesday. Many found little remained.
Gary Herrin sobbed as he walked through what had been his childhood home in Middletown.
“Yep, grew up here, was able to walk to school from here. Many friends lived close by,” Herrin recalled, looking around. “There's a lot of good people here, but it's a ghost town now, it's really eerie.”
His brother had been living in the home and members of his extended family resided nearby.
Said Herrin: “I go to my brother-in-law's house, my niece's house, and there's nothing, nothing, ashes.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.