SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Cool weather helped fire crews gain ground Thursday against the nation’s deadliest wildfire in a century, as the search went on for more bodies.
Among the crews are personnel from fire departments in North Texas.
The Flower Mound Fire Department checked in on Facebook Thursday saying firefighters had just began 24-hour operations at the 98,362 acre Woolsey Fire by reinforcing containment lines and extinguishing hot spots around the perimeter.
At the time, that fire was 57 percent contained. Flower Mound firefighters said wind conditions have greatly improved Thursday to help with firefighting efforts.
“Engine 502 and crew are assigned to an area off of Mulholland Highway and Captain Moore, who is assigned to a Dallas Fire-Rescue Engine, is working in the Agoura Hills area,” the Facebook post said.
A team of Fort Worth firefighters are in Malibu, California also fighting the Woolsey Fire. The Department tweeted Thursday, “Today they have been assigned the duty to patrol and check for areas that might flare back up. This also allows them the chance to get a good idea of the area they will be assigned to.
At least 56 people were killed and 300 were unaccounted for a week after the flames swept through.
Meantime, the nearly 220-square-mile blaze in Northern California was 40 percent contained, the state fire agency said, and firefighters succeeded in slowing the flames’ advance toward populated areas.
More than 450 searchers were assigned to look for remains in Paradise, which was all but destroyed Nov. 8, and in outlying areas such as Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000. Many of the missing were elderly and from Magalia.
“If this town does recover, it’s going to take many, many years,” said Johnny Pohmagevich, an 18-year Magalia resident who lives up the road from many burned homes.
Police drove around town, searching for those still in their homes and checking if they needed food and water.
Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said Wednesday night that 130 people were missing. His office later released a list of 300 who were unaccounted for, though spokeswoman Miranda Bowersox said some of those may simply not have checked in with officials or family.
At the other end of the state, crews made progress against a blaze of more than 153 square miles that destroyed over 500 structures in Malibu and other Southern California communities. The fire was 57 percent contained, Cal Fire reported.
At least three deaths were reported in Southern California.
Officials in Northern California put the number of homes lost there at nearly 8,800, and the sheriff said the task of recovering remains had become so vast that his office brought in 287 more searchers Wednesday, including National Guard troops. The search crews used 22 cadaver dogs.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)