MIDDLETOWN, Calif. (CBS/AP) — Authorities say two more bodies have been found in homes burned by a California wildfire, bringing the death toll from the blazes in the northern part of the state to five.

The Lake County Sheriff’s office says official identifications have yet to be made, but they are presumed to be the bodies of Bruce Beven Burns and former San Jose Mercury News police reporter, Leonard Neft.

Neft last spoke with his family Saturday evening.

Authorities earlier found his burned-out car on the route he would have used to escape.

MORE: Complete Wildfire Coverage

Authorities on Sunday found the body of 72-year-old Barbara McWilliams in her burned-out home near Middletown.

About 170 miles southeast, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Calaveras County coroner Kevin Raggio said two bodies were found inside burned-out homes. One of the victims was identified as 65-year-old Mark McCloud.

The Valley Fire has consumed more than 73,700 acres. Crews were gaining ground on it and more than doubled containment from to 35 percent Thursday morning, Cal Fire said.

The wildfire burning in the Sierra Nevada had destroyed at least 252 homes and charred more than 70,700 acres. It was 49 percent contained Wednesday.

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  1. My heart is breaking for all of the people negatively impacted by this natural disaster…I personally know I few since I live local to the fire. But I am also amazed and inspired by the local communities that have gathered together to support those in need. I have heard so many amazing and heart touching stories of kindness as a result of the fires. Thank you to everyone who is selflessly helping those in need. I hope all of the survivors know that their communities are here for them every step of they way!

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