US utility stocks slump as California wildfires leave hundreds missing

"To minimize the crucial, lifesaving work being done and to make crass suggestions such as cutting off funding during a time of crisis shows a troubling lack of real comprehension about the disaster at hand and the unsafe job our fire fighters do".

Astonishingly, Brown blamed those who deny climate change for "contributing to the tragedies", Sunday after President Trump blamed the spread of the fires on mismanagement.

He said Mr Trump's claim that forest policies were mismanaged "is dangerously wrong".

Firefighters battling the Camp Fire with shovels and bulldozers, flame retardants and hoses expected wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour overnight Sunday.

In addition, NASA's own Terra satellite captured an image of the Camp Fire's plume, in a wide shot including a view of the Hill and Woolsey fires in Southern California.

At least two people have died in the Woolsey Fire, which is 32 kilometres (20 miles) long and 22 kilometres (14 miles) wide, threatening 57,000 structures, officials said.

Neil Young, Gerard Butler and Miley Cyrus are among the celebrities whose homes have been destroyed by the deadly wildfires in California that has claimed the lives of at least 31 people and forced hundreds of thousands of residents to flee, USA media reports said Monday.

Members of the Kardashian family, Lady Gaga and Alyssa Milano were among celebrities who fled the fires. It is important to note that Thousand Oaks has also suffered a recent incident of mass shooting where 12 people perished.

Authorities were also bringing in a DNA lab and said officials would reach out to relatives who had registered their missing loved ones to aid in identifying the dead after the blaze destroyed more than 6,700 buildings, almost all of them homes. In some cases, there were only charred fragments of bone, so small that coroner's investigators used a wire basket to sift and sort them, officials said Monday.

In Northern California, Sheriff Honea said the devastation was so complete in some neighborhoods that "it's very hard to determine whether or not there may be human remains there". Public safety officials toured the Paradise area to begin discussing the recovery. "It's all gone", Malibu resident Marcella Shirk, 82, told KABC-TV.

"Paradise was literally wiped off the map", said Tim Aboudara, a representative for International Association of Fire Fighters.

"Given that she's homebound, the worst goes through your mind", he said.

"Anytime you're a firefighter and your town burns down, there's a lot of feelings and a lot of guilt and a lot of concern about both what happened and what the future looks like", he said.

Nearly 10,000km away, US President Donald Trump, in France for World War I commemorations on Sunday, drew criticism for an unsympathetic reaction to the devastation.

State DNA experts are helping identify victims with chaplains and hearses nearby as bodies are found. Thousands of homes have been destroyed, including those of dozens of firefighters who continue to battle on the front lines to save other homes.

But she also revealed that her house "no longer stands".

  • Joey Payne