The now-infamous Camp fire continues to burn throughout northern California, wreaking death and destruction in towns like Paradise, where many structures burned to the ground. The death toll of at least 77 continues rising, with 1,276 people reported missing.
In Butte County, where Paradise is located, members of the sheriff’s Search & Rescue Team, along with volunteers, have been going house to house looking for human remains. The searchers, wearing helmets, coveralls and masks, are poking through the ash-covered hellscape, using sticks, rakes and cadaver-sniffing dogs.
The Camp fire has destroyed about 10,500 homes and torched 233 square miles. It was 65 percent contained.
For responders, the dread was intensified by the weather forecast. Rain predicted later this week could turn the grey ash into a paste, obscuring telltale remnants. One official told The Associated Press it was within the “realm of possibility” that the exact death toll would never be known.
Here’s a look at the team’s grim work.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the location of Paradise as Tuolumne County instead of Butte County.