Two bodies found in area burned by
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[June 30, 2016]
By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two bodies were
found on Wednesday in a rural area of San Diego County charred by a
major wildfire, sheriff's officials said, as firefighters increasingly
gained control over a larger blaze that also killed two people in
The remains were discovered on private property in the Potrero
area, which had been subject to a mandatory evacuation order as
flames from the so-called Border Fire approached, San Diego County
Sheriff's spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said.
Caldwell said coroner's investigators were trying to determine the
identities of the deceased.
Two people who had been living in an outbuilding on the property and
acting as caretakers were reported missing earlier this week.
The Border Fire, which broke out on June 19, has blackened more than
7,600 acres in southern San Diego County near the Mexican border. It
was 97 percent contained by late Wednesday.
In central California, crews had cut containment lines around 70
percent of the so-called Erskine fire, which was burning in the
drought-parched foothills near Lake Isabella in Kern County, about
110 miles (180 km) north of Los Angeles, fire managers said.
A major highway through the area had been reopened and more evacuees
had been allowed to return home, authorities said.
On Wednesday, some 1,300 firefighters were battling the blaze that
has burned about 47,000 acres, killed two people and destroyed more
than 250 structures since it erupted a week ago, becoming the
largest and most destructive in an already intense California fire
Crews will work to strengthen containment lines and extinguish spot
fires started by potentially strong winds through the day, the
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on its
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An American flag flies above wreckage at a residence leveled by the
Erskine Fire in South Lake, California, U.S. June 26, 2016.
The two victims of the Erskine fire, found on Friday just beyond the
ruins of their home, were identified by the Anglican Diocese of San
Joaquin as a priest and his wife, Byron and Gladys McKaig.
Authorities have said more victims could be found once crews were
able to inspect fire-ravaged areas more closely.
The California wildfire season officially began in May but the nine
major fires that have started in the state over the past week marked
the first widespread outbreak of intense fires this year.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien, Laila Kearney and Dan Whitcomb;
Editing by Frances Kerry, David Gregorio and Paul Tait)
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