SANTA ROSA (CBS) — The death toll from the devastating wine country fires climbed to 14 Thursday in Sonoma County with another 463 people listed as missing, authorities said.
Sheriff County Sheriff Robert Giordano said “target searches” using 30 search and rescue team members and cadaver dogs would begin within the burn area on Thursday.
“We are moving into a recovery phase,” he said. “What we are doing is, we are working the missing persons through their family, through conventional contacts, phones other addresses. As that case leads us to no further information — our next step is going that person’s house in the fire zone and try to find them.”
He said identifying the bodies was also proving to be a challenge because of the condition of the remains.
“This is going to be a long process,” he said.