The body of a sixth person who died in the ravaging Northern Californian wildfires was discovered by authorities Tuesday evening. The body was found in the town of Cobb, and is presumed to be of Robert Taylor Fletcher, 66, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. No additional details were given. One individual, Robert Edward Litchman, 61, remained missing on Wednesday, authorities said, as reported by Yahoo News.
The town of Cobb has been greatly impacted by the Valley Fire, which has burned around 76,067 acres across Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said that the fire had been 80 percent contained as of Wednesday. California’s fourth year of drought, which has created dry conditions, has allowed wildfires to spread quickly.
Last week, bodies of three other people were discovered in the devastation caused by Valley Fire. The victims were identified as Bruce Beven Burns, 65, Leonard Neft, 69, and Barbara McWilliams, 72, as reported by KCRA. Additionally, more than 12,000 residents have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the fire in Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties.
A major disaster for the area was declared by President Barack Obama on Tuesday, which will allow granting of federal funding to help with the rapidly spreading fires.
The Butte Fire, which burned 110 square miles and had been 84 percent contained as of Wednesday, caused the deaths of two people, according to Cal Fire. The fire, which broke out on September 9, is located in Amador and Calaveras counties, and has destroyed around 475 homes.
Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said the Lake County fire had caused the damage of 1,900 structures, of which were 1,238 homes, while forcing 3,000 people to flee their homes. The fire had burned 118 square miles. Meanwhile, authorities in Monterey County said a man’s suicide, whose body was discovered near the ignition point, was involved in the start of another wildfire, as reported by US News and World Report. Authorities said this fire damaged 12 homes and eight smaller buildings. Evacuations near the town of Jamesburg, 140 miles south of San Francisco, followed as a result. The Tassajara Fire scorched in excess of 1,000 acres, destroying around two dozen homes and outbuildings. As of Wednesday, it had been 81 percent contained.
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