Four California bodies found



California authorities have recovered the bodies of four more people killed in wildfires raging in the central part of the state, bringing the death toll to five.

The remains of four men who died separately in the Valley fire, north of San Francisco, and the Butte fire, south-east of the capital Sacramento, were discovered on Wednesday, officials in Lake and Calaveras counties told news media.

A 72-year-old disabled woman was killed as she tried to flee the Valley fire on Saturday.

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Hundreds of people have been left homeless by the two fires, which have together destroyed more than 800 homes and burned more than 582 sq/km of land in a little more than a week.

The cause of both fires is under investigation.

The electricity utility told local media one of its power lines may have sparked the Butte fire on September 9.

Firefighters made some headway in fighting the fires on Thursday, helped by rain and cooling temperatures.

The Butte fire was 49 per cent contained, and the Valley fire was 35 per cent contained, state fire agency Cal Fire said.

A forest fire that threatened some of the world’s oldest and largest trees in California’s Sequoia National Park was two-thirds contained, the federal National Wildfire Co-ordinating Group said.

The so-called Rough fire burned more than 570 sq/km, among the largest fires ever in the state, according to Cal Fire.

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