Fire death toll hits 63; sheriff says hundreds still missing

16 November, 2018, 16:29 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • After devastating loss of life and property here comes another hit from California wildfires

The number of people listed as missing in one of California's deadliest wildfires has skyrocketed past 600, authorities said on Thursday, as the remains of seven more victims were found by rescuers.

In explaining the massive jump in the number of missing, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told reporters that investigators raised the number after reviewing emergency calls made after the fire broke out last week.

The 63 deaths reported from the Camp Fire make it the deadliest wildfire in California's history, as the inferno also became the most destructive.

The wildfire - which started on November 8 - remains the deadliest in California state history, leaving more than 8,500 structures destroyed and 140,000 acres of land scorched. At least 130 people are still missing.

"For over 35 years, I have witnessed many fires in my community and experienced the devastation of those fires up close and personal - but none as catastrophic as the events that have taken place in our community these past five days", he said.

The fire is now 40 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Butte County Fire Department.

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He said the list of missing would keep fluctuating with names being added and others removed, either because they turn up safe or are identified among the dead. One body in Paradise was found in a auto that had been flipped on its side.

President Donald Trump plans to travel to California on Saturday to visit victims of the wildfires burning at both ends of the state.

In a post on Twitter, she says her family has "found our answer" and asks for prayers as they get through this "very hard time". The wildfire has destroyed roughly 500 structures in Malibu and neighboring areas, as it's burned more than 98,000 acres with a 62 percent containment.

"It's cold and scary", said Lilly Batres, 13, one of the few children there, who fled with her family from the forested town of Magalia and didn't know whether her home survived. The fire was 62 per cent contained after destroying almost 550 homes and other buildings.

Meanwhile, hundreds of fire refugees are living in tents and makeshift shelters.



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