10 dead as California fire becomes deadliest of year
The terrible toll of California’s wildfires became more evident as a mother confirmed her 16-year-old son was among those killed when an inferno tore through several hamlets in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada this week.
Jessica Williams, who earlier pleaded for her missing son Josiah to call her, told CBS13 Sacramento that DNA confirmed the teen’s death.
“He was alone, terrified and ran for his life … my son was a good, smart, caring young boy that died alone and it kills me thinking about what he was going through,” the TV station reported Friday.
It was not immediately clear if the teen was counted among the 10 wildfire deaths or 16 missing persons reported so far by local authorities.
The North Complex fire near the small city of Oroville that exploded in wind-driven flames earlier in the week was advancing more slowly Friday after the winds eased and smoke from the blaze shaded the area and lowered the temperature, allowing firefighters to make progress, authorities said.
However, the smoke made for poor visibility and fire helicopters couldn’t fly Thursday.
Throughout the state, red flag warnings of extreme fire danger because of hot, dry weather or gusty winds were lifted.