Toll Hits 31 as Wildfires Become Deadliest in California History

At least 31 people were confirmed dead late Thursday in the rash of wildfires tearing through Northern California, making the inferno the deadliest in state history. Authorities have warned of entire neighborhoods wiped out after more than a dozen fires erupted Sunday night, with at least 2,834 homes destroyed in Santa Rosa alone. Officials said they discovered more bodies Thursday, as search crews scoured devastated areas using cadaver dogs. As of Thursday evening, about 400 people remained missing. “We will do everything in our power to locate all the missing persons, and I promise you we will handle the remains with care and get them returned to their loved ones,” Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano said at a news conference. He said it could take months for all the bodies to be identified, and added that it’d be “unrealistic” to think the death toll won’t continue to climb. Forecasters continued to warn the dangerous conditions would get worse, with no end in sight this weekend for high winds fueling the blazes.