Advertisement

Paradise lost: Photos show town before and after the Camp Fire destroyed it

California wildfires: Butte County is using rapid DNA testing to identify people
WATCH: California wildfires: Butte County is using rapid DNA testing to identify people

Rescuers are slowly documenting the full scope of the fire that wiped out Paradise, Calif., through a collection of photos that show the ruins of each building destroyed in the blaze.

READ MORE: What started the Camp Fire? California power lines come under scrutiny

CalFire has been meticulously inspecting each structure destroyed by the Camp Fire, which torched nearly 12,000 structures when it ripped through Paradise last week. Inspectors have posted photos of each destroyed structure online, so that the 27,000 people who were forced to evacuate the area last week can look up the fate of their homes.

WATCH: California wildfires: Butte county sheriff says ‘rain is of concern to us’

California wildfires: Butte county sheriff says ‘rain is of concern to us’
California wildfires: Butte county sheriff says ‘rain is of concern to us’

The photos show a town virtually razed to the ground by fire, with only a few chimneys, burned-out cars and steel beams still standing. A few structures escaped the fire with minimal or no damage, but the vast majority of buildings have been totally lost.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: ‘Hero’ nurse given new truck by Toyota after driving through California wildfire to evacuate hospital – twice

This home was one of several destroyed on Honey Run Road, on the western side of town.

The fire wiped out several churches in Paradise, including the Calvary Baptist Church on the southern end of town and the Pentecostal Church of God on the north end.

Story continues below advertisement

The fire also burned down a McDonald’s on Clark Road. Only the sign was left standing.

Firefighters, search and rescue teams and a few residents have already been picking through the ruins for days, sifting through the ashes in search of human remains or signs of life. The official death toll sits at 79, but nearly 700 individuals are still unaccounted for.

Story continues below advertisement

WATCH BELOW: Drone footage shows how the Camp Fire devastated Paradise

Camp Fire: Drone shows extent of devastation from California wildfire
Camp Fire: Drone shows extent of devastation from California wildfire

The Camp Fire has burned more than 611 square kilometres (236 square miles) since it started on Nov. 8, and was 70 per cent contained on Monday.

WATCH: Authorities face grim reality of over 1000 missing people in wake of California’s Camp Fire

Authorities face grim reality of over 1000 missing people in wake of California’s Camp Fire
Authorities face grim reality of over 1000 missing people in wake of California’s Camp Fire

Hundreds of mobile homes were destroyed on the north end of the town, including several around the corner from a fire station.

Story continues below advertisement

Searchers were racing the weather on Tuesday, with rain in the forecast for Wednesday. They worry the rainfall could wash away traces of human remains.

Refugees from the town have taken shelter in neighbouring communities, particularly in nearby Chico, where dozens have been camped out in a Walmart parking lot.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said it is “way too early” to estimate the damage done by the wildfire. But for perspective, he said the Northern California fires that gutted 6,800 homes last year resulted in $12.6 billion in insured losses. This year’s Camp Fire destroyed nearly twice that number of buildings.

WATCH: Aaron Rodgers donates $1M to victims of California’s Camp Fire

Aaron Rodgers donates $1M to victims of California’s Camp Fire
Aaron Rodgers donates $1M to victims of California’s Camp Fire

“It’s going to be a long and painful process,” he told the Associated Press.

Story continues below advertisement

With files from the Associated Press