Photos: what California’s lethal wildfires look like on the ground

The Camp Fire is the deadliest wildfire in California history, and the toll is still expected to rise.

The day before the uncommonly deadly Camp Fire ignited near Chico, California, meteorologists were warning of unprecedented dryness from heat, winds, low humidity, and lack of precipitation. California was a tinderbox.

Since then, the monster fire has ripped through 148,000 acres, laid the town of Paradise (population 26,000) to waste, and destroyed more than 10,000 structures. This makes it the most destructive wildfire California has ever seen. Yet the human toll has been even more stunning: At least 71 people have died in the flames (with over 1,000 still unaccounted for), making it the single deadliest wildfire in state history.

The dry, windy conditions throughout California mean Southern California has also been at extreme risk for fires. On November 8, the Woolsey Fire sparked in Ventura County and then swept into Los Angeles County, torching a total of 98,300 acres and killing at least three.

Fire experts and climate scientists say the wildfires have certainly been made worse by climate change. “If Northern California had received anywhere near the typical amount of autumn precipitation this year (around 4-5 in. of rain near #CampFire point of origin), explosive fire behavior & stunning tragedy in #Paradise would almost certainly not have occurred,” climate scientist Daniel Swain wrote on Twitter. And the long-term projections for future shifts in precipitation and heat are bleak: California likely has many more dangerous wildfires in store.

“[Wildfires] will be part of our future … things like this, and worse,’’ Gov. Jerry Brown said at a Sunday press conference. “That’s why it’s so important to take steps to help communities, to do prevention and adaptation.”

Local news reporters, residents, photojournalists, and scientists have been sharing images from the ground on what was left in the fires’ wake. There will be a lot of healing and rebuilding to do after these tragedies. Here’s what the situation looks like on the ground.

Camp Fire

 Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A rescue worker lifts a cadaver dog at the remains of a mobile home park destroyed by the Camp Fire in Paradise, California on November 14, 2018.
 Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
San Francisco firefighters dismantle a burned mobile home in Paradise, California on November 14, 2018.

 Martha Mendoza/AP Images
The Gold Nugget Museum is shown totally demolished by the Camp Fire on November 13, 2018.
 Eric Risberg/AP Images
The San Fransisco skyline is obscured by wildfire smoke and haze on November 12, 2018.
 Noah Berger/AP Images
A couple embraces while searching through the remains of their home in Paradise, California on November 12, 2018.
 Mason Trinca/The Washington Post/Getty Images
Smoke lingers through the valley near Skyway in Chico, California on November 11, 2018.

 Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
The Camp Fire burns in the hills on November 11, 2018, near Oroville, California.

 Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Power lines rest on cars that were burned by the Camp Fire on November 10, 2018 in Paradise, California.
 Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Yuba and Butte County sheriff deputies carry a body bag with a deceased victim of the Camp Fire on November 10, 2018, in Paradise, California.

 Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A firefighter looks down as a the wall of a burning home in Paradise, California falls next to him on November 9, 2018.
 Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A California Highway Patrol vehicle mans a checkpoint along Highway 32 as the Camp Fire burns in the area on November 9, 2018.

Woolsey Fire

 David McNew/AFP/Getty Images
A burned car is seen off Mulholland Highway in the Santa Monica Mountains on November 14, 2018.
 David Crane/Digital First Media/Los Angeles Daily News/Getty Images
A section of Mulholland Highway was completely destroyed. Taken November 14, 2018.
 David McNew/AFP/Getty Images
The Santa Monica Mountains are blackened by the Woolsey Fire near Malibu, California on November 14, 2018.
 Jae C. Hong/AP Images
Roger Kelton searches through the remains of his mother-in-law’s home in Agoura Hills, California on November 13, 2018.
 AFP/Getty Images
A family returns to the remains of their home to find family photographs on Busch Drive in Malibu, California on November 13, 2018.
 Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto/Getty Images
Firefighters work to contain the Woolsey Fire near Malibu, California on November 12, 2018.
 Richard Vogel/AP Images
A firefighting DC-10 drops fire retardant the mountains in Malibu, California on November 11, 2018.

 September Dawn Bottoms/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Firefighters battle a flare up of the Woolsey Fire in West Hills, California on November 11, 2018.
 DigitalGlobe/Getty Images
Satellite imagery shows the Woolsey Fire burning west of Los Angeles, California on November 11, 2018.

 Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images
These are the remains of a beachside luxury home along the Pacific Coast Highway community of Point Dume in Malibu, California, on November 11, 2018.
 September Dawn Bottoms/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
This photo taken on November 11, 2018, shows a charred cactus field in Malibu, California after the Woolsey Fire swept through it.
 Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images
A wildfire burns at the Salvation Army Camp on November 10, 2018 in Malibu, California.
 Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images
A helicopter drops flame retardant chemicals on the wildfire on November 10, 2018, in Malibu, California.
 Reed Saxon/AP Images
A table and chairs stand outside a destroyed home in Malibu, California, on November 10, 2018.
 David McNew/Getty Images
Embers falls from burning palms as flames close in on a house at the Woolsey Fire on November 9, 2018, in Malibu, California.