UPDATED 12:21 p.m. PT – Wednesday Nov. 21, 2018
Crews are using cadaver dogs to locate missing persons in the wake of the devastating Camp Fire in northern California.
“If there’s any evidence they can get confirmation with a canine and we’ll come in and also do their search,” said Captain Rick Crawford, Public Information Officer for Cal Fire. “If the canine senses something, they will either bark or give some type of signal.”
Recovery operations are underway in the town of Paradise, which was completely destroyed by the blaze. More than 80 people are confirmed dead, but more than 800 people are still unaccounted for.
“You’re approaching cremation style temperatures and so hopefully, if they were in a protected area and they will remain intact,” said Capt. Crawford. “However, if not, we’re looking for any type of bone fragments, skeletal remains, things of that nature, that will survive the incident.”
Fire officials say the dogs may be able to help crews find even the smallest amount of human remains and help give some families closure.
A contingent of the California National Guard is also on scene, assisting coroners and forensic anthropologists with locating and identifying remains.