The fire, which broke out on November 8, is so far known to have killed 87 people although another 249 people remain unaccounted for.

After a brief delay to let a downpour pass, volunteers resume their search for human remains at a mobile home park in Paradise, California on Friday, November 23, 2018.
After a brief delay to let a downpour pass, volunteers resume their search for human remains at a mobile home park in Paradise, California on Friday, November 23, 2018. (AP)

The deadliest and most destructive fire in California's history was finally brought under control by firefighters, more than two weeks after it erupted, authorities said on Sunday.

"#CampFire ... is now 100% contained," Cal Fire, the state fire authority, said in its latest bulletin on Twitter.

Rain will drop in intense bursts

The fire, which broke out on November 8, is so far known to have killed 87 people and burned nearly 14,000 homes.

The number of people still missing from the Camp Fire north of San Francisco dropped to 249 on Sunday, the Butte County Sheriff's Office said. 

The number was revised down from 475 as people who were believed missing were found in shelters, staying in hotels or with friends, officials said, adding that many did not know they were on the list.

Search team members move sheet metal to allow cadaver dogs to search beneath them for signs of human remains at a mobile home park in Paradise, California on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018.
Search team members move sheet metal to allow cadaver dogs to search beneath them for signs of human remains at a mobile home park in Paradise, California on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. (AP)

Searchers will have a few more days of dry weather, but starting late on Tuesday, another 2-5 inches of rain is expected to drop on the Sierra Nevada foothills through next Sunday, hampering the searchers work and renewing fears of flash floods and mudslides, forecasters said.

"The fear is that the rain will drop in intense bursts," Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the federal Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, said early Sunday.

"All the vegetation has burned away, and that's a dangerous recipe for mudslides," Hurley said.

Irma Corona (R) comforts neighbour Gerryann Wulbern in front of the remains of Wulbern's home after the two returned for the first time since the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, US on November 22, 2018
Irma Corona (R) comforts neighbour Gerryann Wulbern in front of the remains of Wulbern's home after the two returned for the first time since the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, US on November 22, 2018 (Reuters)

Cause of fire yet to determine

Last week, 2-3 inches of rain fell there and turned ash from the thousands of destroyed homes into slurry, complicating the work of finding bodies reduced to bone fragments.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea has warned that remains of some victims may never be found. The town of Paradise was a popular destination for retirees, with people aged 65 or older accounting for a quarter of its 27,000 residents.

Most of the victims of the fire identified so far were of retirement age.

Investigators have yet to determine the cause of the fire.

Thousands of people forced to flee Paradise spent Thanksgiving in warehouses in the nearby city of Chico, or with friends or relatives in nearby towns.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies