These are the victims of the California forest fires - Los Angeles Times

At least 50 people have been declared dead during the fires that devastate California this month, and civil servants expect it to rise altogether if the crew continues to search for homes for relics.

The campfire in Butte County is the deadliest forest fire in California history, with at least 48 deaths from Wednesday morning.

It is an incredibly difficult task to find the remains of bodies in areas where almost everything has been scorched, and then to identify those remains, many of which are possibly unrecognizable charred.

Here are some stories about the lives lost by the fires in the camp and Woolsey.

Jesus Fernandez, 48 | Concow

Jesus Fernandez, or Zeus, as he was known to his friends, died in the campfire, confirmed the office of the Butte County sheriff.

Jesus Fernandez Myrna Pascua

Fernandez "was the embodiment of determination, respect, loyalty and perseverance, a tireless supplier, a reliable and loyal friend, an attentive neighbor and a loving father, he will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him", said a family friend, Myrna Pascua, Tuesday in a written message. Pascua, along with the family of Fernandez and other friends, had been searching for Fernandez and his German shepherd since the fires hit Concow.

Family and friends ask for donations for Fernandez's burial and memorial on GoFundMe.

Ernest Foss, 63 | paradise

A rock-and-roll musician, Ernie Foss lived all his life in San Francisco before being priced out a decade ago. He became a father at a young age, said his eldest daughter, Angela Loo, who was born when her father was only 20.

Ernest Foss
Ernest Foss Angela Loo

Foss eventually gave up his band lifestyle to be a single father for three children. But he raised them with a recording studio in their small cottage Bay Area.

Foss, a resident of Paradise, died during the campfire, confirmed the Butte County authority.

The 63-year-old played different instruments. Guitar was his favorite, but he also played drums, bass guitar and the saxophone, Loo said. He learned lessons from their home in San Francisco and even helped her with her violin. Music is in the family.

He had a nice voice, his mother was a trained opera singer, & # 39; said Loo. "He had a crazy wild life, and then he got children, and then he did his best to do right through us … to be a single father."

He always tried to help people, she said, opening their house to those in need, even if he did not have much.

The authorities told Loo that the body of Foss was found outside his house by his minibus, next to the body of his assistance dog, Bernice. He probably died on the morning of November 8, around 9.45 am, when flames overtook that part of Edgewood Lane, she said. He lived there with his stepson and caretaker, Andrew Burt, who was still missing on Tuesday afternoon.

Foss was not afraid of death, Loo said – the last 10 years he had lived with a debilitating condition called lymphedema, which left him bedridden. Loo does not know how he was able to even get out of the house when the fire hit; it is possible that her stepbrother was able to get him in a wheelchair and in the vicinity of the car, she said.

Foss had prepared for his death in the last decade, Loo said. He had specific instructions for his instruments and wanted to pass on his extensive vinyl collection to a friend. But he had told Loo that he had to go through them first.

"I hid things for you in the dust jacket," he told her.

She has not yet been to Paradise to see the damage, but has heard that the house and everything in it has disappeared.

"For this to happen, it just sends me off my center of gravity," she said. "I am not prepared for this."

Debbe Morningstar, 65 | paradise

Debbe Morningstar came from a musical family and she loved to sing.

Debbe Morningstar
Debbe Morningstar Alison Holguin

During family gatherings, Morningstar played the piano, while she and her three sisters harmonized a song – often "The Longest Time", by Billy Joel or a John Denver tune. They sang and talked and laughed for hours.

It is the musical talent and sarcastic sense of humor that Alison Holguin, 38, remembers most of her aunt, who died in her house during her campfire.

"There was always this joyous sound in our house when we would gather," she said Tuesday. "It was really a great blessing to grow up, surrounded by everything."

Morningstar had been evacuated from her home during previous fires and decided not to do this time. Holguin said the evacuations were so sudden that her other aunt Becki Nelson left clothes in the dryer, expecting them to be home soon enough.

Instead, the houses of both sisters burned – five minutes away from each other.

On Monday afternoon, the Sheriff's Office in Butte County called the family to say that Morningstar had not survived.

"There were hundreds of people missing in the beginning," said Holguin. "Many people reunited with their loved ones, and we were really hopeful for that phone call.

Morningstar, who had worked as a secretary, was retired. She lived alone, except for the company of her cats, but was involved with family and close friends. Thanksgiving and Christmas were always in paradise.

The brothers and sisters, including their brother Chris Tomer, who died a few years ago, grew up in Downey and Corona. Holguin & # 39; s mother Margaret Rummens was the first to settle in paradise and soon the majority of the family followed. Morningstar has lived there for more than 30 years.

Years ago, Tomer drove into the city with his motorcycle. Rummens recalls that their mother tried to convince Morningstar to take a ride. Morningstar told her, "I will go if you go."

So my mother tied a helmet and made a ride around the block, & # 39; said Rummens. "And true to her word, Debbe did the same."

After receiving the call on Monday, Rummens announced the death of her sister in a Facebook group for missing persons.

"Rest in peace, sister," she wrote.

Carl Wiley, 77 | Magalia

Carl Wiley was a veteran whose family came from Alaska. The 77-year-old had lived in Butte County for decades and refurbished tires, his son James Wiley told CBS Sacramento.

Butte County authorities confirmed that Carl Wiley of Magalia died in the campfire.

The staff chief Joseph Serna of Times contributed to this report.

If you have lost a loved one or friend and want to share your memories, you can send an e-mail to Sonali.Kohli@latimes.com.

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