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Pictures | Thu Nov 15, 2018 | 1:30pm EST

Cadaver dogs lead grim search for victims in California fire

Karen Atkinson, of Marin, searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, Echo, in a van destroyed by the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, November 14, 2018. Several cadaver dogs were brought in to look for victims of the Camp Fire, which is the deadliest blaze in the state's history and has so far killed 48 people and burned 135,000 acres (55,000 hectares). Fire fighters have said it was only 35 percent contained. Authorities said they have not accounted for nearly 230 people.

REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

Karen Atkinson, of Marin, searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, Echo, in a van destroyed by the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, November 14, 2018. Several cadaver dogs were brought in to look for victims of the Camp Fire, which is the...more

Karen Atkinson, of Marin, searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, Echo, in a van destroyed by the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, November 14, 2018. Several cadaver dogs were brought in to look for victims of the Camp Fire, which is the deadliest blaze in the state's history and has so far killed 48 people and burned 135,000 acres (55,000 hectares). Fire fighters have said it was only 35 percent contained. Authorities said they have not accounted for nearly 230 people. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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A cadaver dog named I.C. searches for human remains in an area destroyed by the Camp Fire in Paradise. The shaggy male Australian shepherd darted nervously through the charred remnants of a house, sniffing for victims. "He's getting an overload of scent," said his handler, Trish Moutard, a volunteer with CARDA, the California Animal Rescue Dog Society, while searching properties on Forest Glen Road in Paradise. "It's a new experience for him."

REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

A cadaver dog named I.C. searches for human remains in an area destroyed by the Camp Fire in Paradise. The shaggy male Australian shepherd darted nervously through the charred remnants of a house, sniffing for victims. "He's getting an overload of...more

A cadaver dog named I.C. searches for human remains in an area destroyed by the Camp Fire in Paradise. The shaggy male Australian shepherd darted nervously through the charred remnants of a house, sniffing for victims. "He's getting an overload of scent," said his handler, Trish Moutard, a volunteer with CARDA, the California Animal Rescue Dog Society, while searching properties on Forest Glen Road in Paradise. "It's a new experience for him." REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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Karen and Larry Atkinson, of Marin, search for human remains with their cadaver dog, Echo. On Wednesday, a National Guard contingent was sent to Paradise, a town of about 27,000 in the Sierra foothills that has been largely reduced ashes, to seek and identify human remains. They will join the cadaver dogs, coroner-led recovery teams and forensic anthropologists searching the ghostly landscape.

REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

Karen and Larry Atkinson, of Marin, search for human remains with their cadaver dog, Echo. On Wednesday, a National Guard contingent was sent to Paradise, a town of about 27,000 in the Sierra foothills that has been largely reduced ashes, to seek and...more

Karen and Larry Atkinson, of Marin, search for human remains with their cadaver dog, Echo. On Wednesday, a National Guard contingent was sent to Paradise, a town of about 27,000 in the Sierra foothills that has been largely reduced ashes, to seek and identify human remains. They will join the cadaver dogs, coroner-led recovery teams and forensic anthropologists searching the ghostly landscape. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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Trish Moutard of Sacramento searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, I.C., in a truck. I.C. appeared agitated as he was instructed to sniff inside a car and a pile of rubble from the destroyed house -- a brick chimney and burned trees the only things standing on the property. Moutard said that she and I.C. had previously only worked house fires and the dog was overwhelmed by the size of the search area and multitude of scents from what was left of house after house.

REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

Trish Moutard of Sacramento searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, I.C., in a truck. I.C. appeared agitated as he was instructed to sniff inside a car and a pile of rubble from the destroyed house -- a brick chimney and burned trees the...more

Trish Moutard of Sacramento searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, I.C., in a truck. I.C. appeared agitated as he was instructed to sniff inside a car and a pile of rubble from the destroyed house -- a brick chimney and burned trees the only things standing on the property. Moutard said that she and I.C. had previously only worked house fires and the dog was overwhelmed by the size of the search area and multitude of scents from what was left of house after house. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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Trish Moutard (C) and other volunteers search for human remains with Moutard's cadaver dog, I.C., in a destroyed neighborhood. She said her method was to look for places where people may be trapped by fire, such as front and back doorways, or where they might take shelter, such as a bathtub. "I generally try to look at what's going to be the catch point for someone in a home," she said.

REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

Trish Moutard (C) and other volunteers search for human remains with Moutard's cadaver dog, I.C., in a destroyed neighborhood. She said her method was to look for places where people may be trapped by fire, such as front and back doorways, or where...more

Trish Moutard (C) and other volunteers search for human remains with Moutard's cadaver dog, I.C., in a destroyed neighborhood. She said her method was to look for places where people may be trapped by fire, such as front and back doorways, or where they might take shelter, such as a bathtub. "I generally try to look at what's going to be the catch point for someone in a home," she said. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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Trish Moutard searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, I.C., in a destroyed house. Moutard stays alert for obvious body parts that would survive fire, "skulls often," but also looks for imprints of bodies, a discolored area in the shape of a human, that may be the most obvious remnant. "In a fire like this it may just simply appear as an outline," she said. "What may be left is just literally the outline of a person."

REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

Trish Moutard searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, I.C., in a destroyed house. Moutard stays alert for obvious body parts that would survive fire, "skulls often," but also looks for imprints of bodies, a discolored area in the shape of a...more

Trish Moutard searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, I.C., in a destroyed house. Moutard stays alert for obvious body parts that would survive fire, "skulls often," but also looks for imprints of bodies, a discolored area in the shape of a human, that may be the most obvious remnant. "In a fire like this it may just simply appear as an outline," she said. "What may be left is just literally the outline of a person." REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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A cadaver dog named Echo searches for human remains in a van. A husband-wife team, Karen and Larry Atkinson, worked their way through devastated properties near Eden Roc Drive in Paradise with their dog Echo, an English lab. Echo dashed ahead, nose to the ground, and then returned to Karen, who would point the dog toward the next place to be searched.

REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

A cadaver dog named Echo searches for human remains in a van. A husband-wife team, Karen and Larry Atkinson, worked their way through devastated properties near Eden Roc Drive in Paradise with their dog Echo, an English lab. Echo dashed ahead, nose...more

A cadaver dog named Echo searches for human remains in a van. A husband-wife team, Karen and Larry Atkinson, worked their way through devastated properties near Eden Roc Drive in Paradise with their dog Echo, an English lab. Echo dashed ahead, nose to the ground, and then returned to Karen, who would point the dog toward the next place to be searched. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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Karen and Larry Atkinson of Marin search for human remains with their cadaver dog, Echo, in a destroyed neighborhood. Karen periodically shook talcum powder from a bottle to test the direction of the wind and make sure the dog searched the downwind side of each location so it would be easier to pick up scents.

REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

Karen and Larry Atkinson of Marin search for human remains with their cadaver dog, Echo, in a destroyed neighborhood. Karen periodically shook talcum powder from a bottle to test the direction of the wind and make sure the dog searched the downwind...more

Karen and Larry Atkinson of Marin search for human remains with their cadaver dog, Echo, in a destroyed neighborhood. Karen periodically shook talcum powder from a bottle to test the direction of the wind and make sure the dog searched the downwind side of each location so it would be easier to pick up scents. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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A cadaver dog named Echo searches for human remains near a van. As they searched, Echo's handlers Karen and Larry Atkinson stayed alert for hazards: downed power lines, holes left by burned roots, and dangling tree branches, which they called "widow makers." Larry said the search was painstaking because Echo was working through many scents to single out human remains. "There's a lot of scent everywhere, and it's hard to nail down," he said.

REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

A cadaver dog named Echo searches for human remains near a van. As they searched, Echo's handlers Karen and Larry Atkinson stayed alert for hazards: downed power lines, holes left by burned roots, and dangling tree branches, which they called "widow...more

A cadaver dog named Echo searches for human remains near a van. As they searched, Echo's handlers Karen and Larry Atkinson stayed alert for hazards: downed power lines, holes left by burned roots, and dangling tree branches, which they called "widow makers." Larry said the search was painstaking because Echo was working through many scents to single out human remains. "There's a lot of scent everywhere, and it's hard to nail down," he said. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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A cadaver dog named I.C. searches for human remains in a destroyed house. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

A cadaver dog named I.C. searches for human remains in a destroyed house. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

A cadaver dog named I.C. searches for human remains in a destroyed house. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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Trish Moutard (C), of Sacramento, searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, I.C., in a destroyed house. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

Trish Moutard (C), of Sacramento, searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, I.C., in a destroyed house. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

Trish Moutard (C), of Sacramento, searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, I.C., in a destroyed house. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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A cadaver dog named Echo searches for human remains in a destroyed van. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

A cadaver dog named Echo searches for human remains in a destroyed van. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

A cadaver dog named Echo searches for human remains in a destroyed van. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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Larry and Karen Atkinson, of Marin, search for human remains in a destroyed van. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

Larry and Karen Atkinson, of Marin, search for human remains in a destroyed van. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

Larry and Karen Atkinson, of Marin, search for human remains in a destroyed van. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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A cadaver dog and his handler search for victims in a burnt-out residential street. REUTERS/Noel Randewich

A cadaver dog and his handler search for victims in a burnt-out residential street. REUTERS/Noel Randewich

A cadaver dog and his handler search for victims in a burnt-out residential street. REUTERS/Noel Randewich
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Karen Atkinson, of Marin, searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, Echo, in a destroyed house. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

Karen Atkinson, of Marin, searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, Echo, in a destroyed house. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

Karen Atkinson, of Marin, searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, Echo, in a destroyed house. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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A cadaver dog named I.C. searches for human remains at a destroyed house. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

A cadaver dog named I.C. searches for human remains at a destroyed house. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

A cadaver dog named I.C. searches for human remains at a destroyed house. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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A cadaver dog named Echo searches for human remains on a property. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

A cadaver dog named Echo searches for human remains on a property. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

A cadaver dog named Echo searches for human remains on a property. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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Karen Atkinson, of Marin, searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, Echo, in a neighborhood. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

Karen Atkinson, of Marin, searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, Echo, in a neighborhood. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

Karen Atkinson, of Marin, searches for human remains with her cadaver dog, Echo, in a neighborhood. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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