Officials ID 12 killed in NorCal fire, ranging in age from 16 to 79

California
A residential area smolders during the Bear Fire, part of the larger North Lightning Complex Fire, in the Berry Creek area of unincorporated Butte County on Sept. 14, 2020. (Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty Images)

A residential area smolders during the Bear Fire, part of the larger North Lightning Complex Fire, in the Berry Creek area of unincorporated Butte County on Sept. 14, 2020. (Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty Images)

A 72-year-old man found dead in a vehicle and two other people discovered on a roadway were among the latest victims of the deadliest wildfire in California this year.

The Butte County sheriff’s office said DNA testing was used to positively identify 12 of 15 people killed last week in the North Complex fire burning northeast of San Francisco.

The victims included three people whose bodies were found in or near a burned vehicle.

The youngest victim, Josiah Williams, 16, of Berry Creek, is among those who apparently died while trying to flee the flames in a vehicle.

“He was alone, terrified and ran for his life,” his mother, Jessica Williams, told CBS13 Sacramento. “My son was a good, smart, caring young boy that died alone and it kills me thinking about what he was going through.”

The town of Berry Creek was largely destroyed in what has become the deadliest fire of 2020, a year that has already shattered California records for the most area burned and recorded the largest fire of all time in the state.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said more than 17,000 firefighters are battling some 25 major fires that were sparked in the past month.

The death toll stands at 25 with more than 38,000 people under evacuation statewide.

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