California wildfires: Number of missing leaps to 600

California wildfires: Number of missing leaps to 600

The number of people listed as missing has skyrocketed past 600, authorities said on Thursday, as the remains of seven additional victims were found by rescuers.

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.

The Northern California fire that began a week earlier obliterated the town of Paradise and caused such carnage that searchers continued to pull bodies out of incinerated homes and cremated cars. Another three were found in Magalia and one was discovered in Concow.

Butte County Sheriff said the number of missing had more than doubled during the day to 631 as investigators went back and checked emergency calls made when the fire broke out a week ago. It was 40 percent contained as of Wednesday evening.

Trump is supposed to pay a visit to those who've been affected by the flames, White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said. Many can not be with us today because they are fighting to protect their property and homes and they simply can not get out as they fight to survive without water, electricity, food, gas and, in some cases, shelter.

The Camp Fire comes at the same time southern California is being pummeled by several fires including the Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, which has consumed 98,362 acres of land.

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One week after the fire started, firefighters reported progress in battling the 141,000-acre blaze that has displaced 52,000 people.

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

"The fact that we have thousands and thousands of people in shelters would clearly indicate that we were able to notify a significant number of people", the sheriff said.

Due to the administrative complications, it took longer for the official list of missing persons to be assembled. 56 people are now confirmed dead and many more remain unaccounted for.

Ten search teams were working in and around Paradise - a town of 27,000 north of Sacramento.

The Camp Fire has destroyed more than 8,650 single family homes and 260 commercial buildings, Cal Fire said.

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