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California wildfire is now deadliest, most destructive in history

A California firefighter monitors a burning home as the Camp Fire moves through the area on Friday in Magalia, California. The Camp Fire burning north of Sacramento is now the deadliest and most destructive in the state's history. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

As more than a dozen fires continue to burn across California, the so-called Camp Fire burning north of Sacramento is now the deadliest and most destructive in the state's history.

What are the details?

The remains of 13 more victims of the Camp Fire were discovered Monday, bringing the death toll to 42. According to the Daily Mail, it is now the state's deadliest fire in history, and also the most destructive — having destroyed more than 7,100 homes and other structures since it started burning Thursday.

Another two deaths occurred in a separate blaze near Malibu, the Woolsey Fire, bringing the casualty count to 44 statewide. Officials say the number of victims is expected to rise, as 200 people are still unaccounted for, and the largest fires are only partially contained.

Meanwhile, two new fires sparked up in the southern part of the state Monday, according to Reuters, but one has already been snuffed out.

President Donald Trump has requested a major disaster declaration for California, after taking flack for blaming the devastation on poor forestry management over the weekend.

Do they know what caused the fires?

According to the BBC, low humidity, Santa Ana winds, and drought conditions have made wildfires a year-round threat to the state. Residents are also living closer to forests — as California's population has nearly doubled to 40 million since the 1970s — placing more people and structures within at-risk burn areas.

Cal Fire and the California Public Utilities Commission are investigating the cause of the latest fires, as reports have surfaced pointing to the possibility that some of them may have been sparked by malfunctioning equipment from electric companies.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. alerted customers in nine counties on Nov. 6 that it might need to shut off their power on Nov. 8 due to extreme fire danger.

PG&E customer Betsy Ann Cowley told the Daily Mail that she received an email from the power company on Nov. 7, warning her that crews would need to come inspect power lines on her land because "they were having problems with sparks."

The next day, the Camp Fire started on her property at 6:30 a.m. Nine hours later, PG&E notified customers that it had called off the power shutdown, saying the safety measure was no longer warranted.

One last thing…
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