The death toll stood at two.
The Woolsey Fire doubled in size from Friday night into Sunday, threatening thousands of homes after triggering mandatory evacuation orders for a quarter million people in the upscale Malibu beach colony as well as other communities in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Officials said they expect the wind to die down by midday Monday, but there was still no rain in sight.
The Woolsey Fire has damaged or destroyed a number of structures, including celebrity homes and a legendary Hollywood film set.
"I know that members of our community who are missing loved ones are anxious, and I know that the news of us recovering bodies has to be disconcerting", Butte County Sheriff-Coroner Kory Honea said. Anthropologists from California State University's Chico campus are also assisting in analyzing any bones or bone fragments found by search teams.
"This weighs heavy on all of us", Honea said. "I will tell you that this weighs heavy on all of us, myself and especially those staff members who are out there doing important work, but certainly hard work".
The victims had not been identified, but the department had a roster of 110 people believed missing. Officials hope numerous elderly on the list simply are elsewhere without cellphones or away to contact loved ones.
A future briefing by authorities will provide additional information on how relatives can submit DNA.
Firefighters battling "extreme fire behavior" are focusing on protecting lives and property in steep terrain with limited access, Cal Fire reported.
The blaze grew to 156 square miles (404 square kilometers), but crews made gains and it was partially contained, officials said.
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One of the Northern California fire's victims was an ailing woman whose body was found in bed in a burned-out house in Concow, near Paradise.
"We'll get sustained winds of up to 40 mph and gusts between 60 mph and 70 mph", he said early Sunday of the Santa Ana "devil wind" hitting the Los Angeles area where the Woolsey Fire has been burning since Thursday in the tinder-dry canyon of Ventura County and claimed at least two lives.
The fire has already destroyed the home of "Dr". He ran across a few of Caddy's neighbours, but they hadn't seen her. But what they saw when they stepped outside shocked them.
Jan MacGregor, 81, got back to his small two-bedroom home in Paradise with the help of his firefighter grandson. The safe was punctured with bullet holes from guns inside that went off in the scorching heat.
Destruction: In Northern California, almost 7,000 structures have been destroyed, including 80% to 90% of the homes in Paradise, north of Sacramento, according to officials. "It wouldn't surprise me" if it turns out that winds caused equipment failure that sparked a fire, he said. "We've had 'em come right up to the city limits - oh, yeah - but nothing like this".
MacGregor said he probably would not rebuild: "I have nothing here to go back to".
"Things are not the way they were 10 years ago. the rate of spread is exponentially more than it used to be", said Lorenzen, urging residents to not put their lives at risk by trying to defend their own homes instead of evacuating.
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.