Death toll hits 25 from wildfires at both ends of…

PARADISE, Calif. (AP) – Authorities called in a mobile DNA lab and anthropologists to help identify the dead as the search went on for victims of the most destructive wildfire in California history. The overall death toll from the outbreak of fires at both ends of the state stood at 25 Sunday and appeared likely to rise.

All told, more than 8,000 firefighters battled three large wildfires burning across nearly 400 square miles (1,040 square kilometers) in Northern and Southern California, with out-of-state crews continuing to arrive and gusty, blowtorch winds making their return.

The worst of the blazes was in Northern California, where flames reduced the town of Paradise, population 27,000, to a smoking ruin days ago and continued to rage in surrounding communities. The number of people killed in that fire alone, at least 23, made it the third-deadliest on record in the state.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said the county was bringing in more rescue workers and consulted anthropologists from California State University at Chico because in some cases “the only remains we are able to find are bones or bone fragments.”

“This weighs heavy on all of us,” Honea said.

Authorities were also bringing in a DNA lab and encouraged people with missing relatives to submit samples to aid in identifying the dead after the blaze destroyed more than 6,700 buildings, nearly all of them homes.

Sheriff's deputies recover the remains of Camp Fire victims on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Paradise, Calif.. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Sheriff's deputies recover the remains of Camp Fire victims on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Paradise, Calif.. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Sheriff’s deputies recover the remains of Camp Fire victims on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Paradise, Calif.. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The sheriff’s department compiled a list of 110 people unaccounted for, but officials held out hope that many were safe but had no cellphones or some other way to contact loved ones.

Firefighters gained modest ground overnight against the blaze, which grew slightly to 170 square miles (440 square kilometers) from the day before but was 25 percent contained, up from 20 percent, according to state fire agency, Cal Fire.

But Cal Fire spokesman Bill Murphy warned that gusty winds predicted into Monday morning could spark “explosive fire behavior.”

Two people were also found dead in a wildfire in Southern California , where flames tore through Malibu mansions and working-class Los Angeles suburbs allike. The severely burned bodies were discovered in a long residential driveway in celebrity-studded Malibu, where those forced out of homes included Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian West, Guillermo del Toro and Martin Sheen.

Flames also besieged Thousand Oaks, the Southern California city in mourning over the massacre of 12 people in a shooting rampage at a country music bar Wednesday night.

Fire officials said Sunday morning that the larger of the region’s two fires, the one burning in and around Malibu, grew to 130 square miles (337 square kilometers) and was 10 percent contained. But the strong, dry Santa Ana winds that blow from the interior toward the coast returned after a one-day lull, fanning the flames.

The count of lost structures in both Southern California fires climbed to nearly 180, authorities said.

All told, an estimated 300,000 people statewide were under evacuation orders, most of them in Southern California.

Gov. Jerry Brown said he is requesting a major-disaster declaration from President Donald Trump that would make victims eligible for crisis counseling, housing and unemployment help, and legal aid.

Drought, warmer weather attributed to climate change, and the building of homes deeper into forests have led to longer and more destructive wildfire seasons in California. While California officially emerged from a five-year drought last year, much of the northern two-thirds of the state is abnormally dry.

In Paradise, a town founded in the 1800s, residents who stayed behind to try to save their properties or who managed to return despite an evacuation order found incinerated cars and homes.

Wearing masks because the air was still heavy with smoke, people sidestepped metal that had melted off of cars or Jet-Skis as they surveyed their ravaged neighborhoods. Some cried when they saw nothing was left.

Jan McGregor, 81, got back to his small two-bedroom home in Paradise with the help of his firefighter grandson. He found his home leveled – a large metal safe and pipes from his septic system the only recognizable traces. The safe was punctured with bullet holes from guns inside that went off in the scorching heat.

He lived in Paradise for nearly 80 years, moving there in 1939, when the town had just 3,000 people and was nicknamed Poverty Ridge.

“We knew Paradise was a prime target for forest fire over the years,” he said. “We’ve had ’em come right up to the city limits – oh, yeah – but nothing like this.”

McGregor said he probably would not rebuild: “I have nothing here to go back to.”

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This story has been corrected to fix survivor’s name to McGregor instead of MacGregor.

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Associated Press writers Daisy Nguyen, Olga R. Rodriguez and Sudhin Thanawala in San Francisco contributed to this report. Darlene Superville contributed from Paris.

A man who gave his first name as John, background, looks over the ruins of his home, one of at least 20 homes destroyed just on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey Fire, it has consumed tens of thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

A man who gave his first name as John, background, looks over the ruins of his home, one of at least 20 homes destroyed just on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey Fire, it has consumed tens of thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

A man who gave his first name as John, background, looks over the ruins of his home, one of at least 20 homes destroyed just on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey Fire, it has consumed tens of thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

The Camp Fire burns along a ridgetop near Big Bend, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Crews working to contain the blaze overnight faced deteriorating weather conditions according to CalFire as winds picked up and humidity dropped. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The Camp Fire burns along a ridgetop near Big Bend, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Crews working to contain the blaze overnight faced deteriorating weather conditions according to CalFire as winds picked up and humidity dropped. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The Camp Fire burns along a ridgetop near Big Bend, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Crews working to contain the blaze overnight faced deteriorating weather conditions according to CalFire as winds picked up and humidity dropped. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

A firefighter hoses down hot spots on a wildfire-ravaged home Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Malibu, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

A firefighter hoses down hot spots on a wildfire-ravaged home Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Malibu, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

A firefighter hoses down hot spots on a wildfire-ravaged home Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Malibu, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

John Honigsfeld surveys the damage to a neighbor's property after a wildfire swept through Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Malibu, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

John Honigsfeld surveys the damage to a neighbor's property after a wildfire swept through Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Malibu, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

John Honigsfeld surveys the damage to a neighbor’s property after a wildfire swept through Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Malibu, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Firefighters Jason Toole, right, and Brent McGill with the Santa Barbara Fire Dept. walk among the ashes of a wildfire-ravaged home after turning off an open gas line on the property Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Malibu, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Firefighters Jason Toole, right, and Brent McGill with the Santa Barbara Fire Dept. walk among the ashes of a wildfire-ravaged home after turning off an open gas line on the property Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Malibu, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Firefighters Jason Toole, right, and Brent McGill with the Santa Barbara Fire Dept. walk among the ashes of a wildfire-ravaged home after turning off an open gas line on the property Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Malibu, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Capt. Adrian Murrieta with the Los Angeles County Fire Dept., hoses down hot spots on a wildfire-ravaged home Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Malibu, Calif. Scores of houses from ranch homes to celebrities' mansions burned in a pair of wildfires that stretched across more than 100 square miles of Southern California, authorities said Saturday. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Capt. Adrian Murrieta with the Los Angeles County Fire Dept., hoses down hot spots on a wildfire-ravaged home Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Malibu, Calif. Scores of houses from ranch homes to celebrities' mansions burned in a pair of wildfires that stretched across more than 100 square miles of Southern California, authorities said Saturday. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Capt. Adrian Murrieta with the Los Angeles County Fire Dept., hoses down hot spots on a wildfire-ravaged home Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Malibu, Calif. Scores of houses from ranch homes to celebrities’ mansions burned in a pair of wildfires that stretched across more than 100 square miles of Southern California, authorities said Saturday. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

A statuary figure of a boy stands outside one of at least 20 homes destroyed just on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey Fire, it has consumed tens of thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

A statuary figure of a boy stands outside one of at least 20 homes destroyed just on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey Fire, it has consumed tens of thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

A statuary figure of a boy stands outside one of at least 20 homes destroyed just on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey Fire, it has consumed tens of thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Glass and plastic melted from intense heat are seen on a car on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif.,Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey fire, it has consumed thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Glass and plastic melted from intense heat are seen on a car on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif.,Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey fire, it has consumed thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Glass and plastic melted from intense heat are seen on a car on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif.,Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey fire, it has consumed thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Vehicles and a home are in ruins, one of at least 20 homes that were lost on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey Fire, it has consumed tens of thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Vehicles and a home are in ruins, one of at least 20 homes that were lost on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey Fire, it has consumed tens of thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Vehicles and a home are in ruins, one of at least 20 homes that were lost on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey Fire, it has consumed tens of thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

The Camp Fire burns along a ridgetop near Big Bend, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Sheriff's investigators have begun the agonizing task of scouring through the wreckage of California's most destructive fire on record in search of the dead. By Saturday, the death toll had reached over a dozen, but it seemed likely to climb. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The Camp Fire burns along a ridgetop near Big Bend, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Sheriff's investigators have begun the agonizing task of scouring through the wreckage of California's most destructive fire on record in search of the dead. By Saturday, the death toll had reached over a dozen, but it seemed likely to climb. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The Camp Fire burns along a ridgetop near Big Bend, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Sheriff’s investigators have begun the agonizing task of scouring through the wreckage of California’s most destructive fire on record in search of the dead. By Saturday, the death toll had reached over a dozen, but it seemed likely to climb. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Krystin Harvey, left, comforts her daughter Araya Cipollini at the remains of their home burned in the Camp Fire, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. The blaze that started Thursday outside the hilly town of Paradise has grown and destroyed more than 6,700 buildings, almost all of them homes, making it California's most destructive wildfire since record-keeping began. But crews have made gains and the fire is partially contained, officials said Saturday. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Krystin Harvey, left, comforts her daughter Araya Cipollini at the remains of their home burned in the Camp Fire, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. The blaze that started Thursday outside the hilly town of Paradise has grown and destroyed more than 6,700 buildings, almost all of them homes, making it California's most destructive wildfire since record-keeping began. But crews have made gains and the fire is partially contained, officials said Saturday. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Krystin Harvey, left, comforts her daughter Araya Cipollini at the remains of their home burned in the Camp Fire, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. The blaze that started Thursday outside the hilly town of Paradise has grown and destroyed more than 6,700 buildings, almost all of them homes, making it California’s most destructive wildfire since record-keeping began. But crews have made gains and the fire is partially contained, officials said Saturday. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Eric England searches through a friend's vehicle on Pearson Rd. after the wildfire burned through Paradise, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Not much is left in Paradise after a ferocious wildfire roared through the Northern California town as residents fled and entire neighborhoods are leveled. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Eric England searches through a friend's vehicle on Pearson Rd. after the wildfire burned through Paradise, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Not much is left in Paradise after a ferocious wildfire roared through the Northern California town as residents fled and entire neighborhoods are leveled. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Eric England searches through a friend’s vehicle on Pearson Rd. after the wildfire burned through Paradise, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Not much is left in Paradise after a ferocious wildfire roared through the Northern California town as residents fled and entire neighborhoods are leveled. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Abandoned cars, scorched by the wildfire, line Pearson Rd. in Paradise, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Not much is left in Paradise after a ferocious wildfire roared through the Northern California town as residents fled and entire neighborhoods are leveled. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Abandoned cars, scorched by the wildfire, line Pearson Rd. in Paradise, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Not much is left in Paradise after a ferocious wildfire roared through the Northern California town as residents fled and entire neighborhoods are leveled. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Abandoned cars, scorched by the wildfire, line Pearson Rd. in Paradise, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Not much is left in Paradise after a ferocious wildfire roared through the Northern California town as residents fled and entire neighborhoods are leveled. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

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