Since the deadly mudslide hit Saturday, rescue dogs have been at the site helping with the search mission.
The death toll from the mudslide has risen to 30, officials said.
Out of the 30 bodies found, 27 have been identified and their families notified. Crews note the task is especially difficult, as they do not always find complete remains.
Twenty FEMA canine teams from task forces around the country arrived to assist with search efforts on Thursday.
The new dogs will be integrated into the search starting on Friday, and will augment the existing dog teams.
Everyone aiding the search mission has endured cold and windy conditions, which have slowed efforts throughout the week.
It was also reported on Sunday two dogs suffered from hypothermia, while more veterinarians were brought in to help the other dogs stay in good shape.
Officials warned that the rescue dogs can lose their keen sense of smell if overworked.
The dogs can smell up to 10 feet deep, but the debris field is as deep as 75 feet in some areas.
Dogs that arrived at the site more recently from FEMA will continued the search, said Heidi Amrine, another spokeswoman for the operation.
“The conditions on the slide field are difficult, so this is just a time to take care of the dogs,” said Kris Rietmann, a spokeswoman for the team working on the eastern portion of the mudslide.
Searchers must contend with challenging conditions, including septic tanks and propane containers, as well as heavy rains.
Rain returned on Thursday afternoon and is expected to continue through Sunday, making conditions even more difficult.
Tryon the rescue dog after searching for victims at the site of the mudslide.
Tryon the rescue dog is walked to the decontamination area, where all rescue dogs are hosed off by hazardous materials crews before they leave the site.
Rescue dog Nexus, muddy from working onsite, waits to be decontaminated via hose at the west side of the mudslide.
Nexus is decontaminated with a hose after leaving the west side of the mudslide.
Crews have also been working to clear the highway by moving piles of mud, splintered wood, and housing insulation.
Workers were also able to clear a makeshift road that links the debris area, which is about 300 acres.
- UK Prime Minister Theresa May is triggering Brexit today. Britain is set to leave the European Union in 2019 👋 🇬🇧
- The US House of Representatives voted to undo landmark internet privacy rules that protect your sensitive information like browsing history 💻
- Companies like Nestle, Ben & Jerry's, and General Mills say they'll keep fighting carbon pollution despite Trump's climate change executive order.
- Two UN investigators' bodies were found in a shallow grave after they went missing in the Democratic Republic of Congo.