Number of missing in California fire doubles to more than 600

Number of missing in California fire doubles to more than 600

Number of missing in California fire doubles to more than 600

A week after a devastating wildfire broke out in northern California, the number of people still unaccounted for has now skyrocketed to 631, authorities said late Thursday.

At least 63 people have been confirmed dead so far in the Camp Fire, which erupted a week ago in the drought-parched Sierra foothills 280 km north of San Francisco and now ranks as one of the most lethal single USA wildfires since the turn of the last century.

More than six hundred people are missing in the rubble and ash left by California's deadly Camp Fire.

Almost 8,800 homes were destroyed when flames hit Paradise, killing at least 56 people in the state's deadliest wildfire. As of now, 56 are dead and 297 people are missing.

Betsy Totten, a Chico city spokeswoman, said it's unclear what will be done if people don't leave, but officials don't plan to kick them out.

The "Woolsey Fire" has razed 98,000 acres (39,660 hectares) and has been 57 percent contained.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said some may have fled their homes and not been in touch with family and friends but others are believed to have died in the fast-moving "Camp Fire".

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"We call it Wally World", Flanagan said, a riff off the store name.

It devastated the town of Paradise, reducing numerous homes to ash and rubble.

It comes as the White House said Donald Trump will visit California on Saturday and meet people caught up in the disaster. 140,000 acres have been burned, and 11,862 structures have been destroyed, with another 15,500 structures still threatened.

The Nov. 8 fire killed 63 people, destroyed 9,700 homes and displaced 52,000 people in the town of Paradise and nearby towns. "Some days there might be more people".

Chester, who doesn't want to know yet whether her home survived, said "I want to help".

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.

At the other end of the state, meanwhile, more residents were being allowed back into the zone of a wildfire that torched an area the size of Denver west of Los Angeles. Almost 12,000 buildings have been destroyed.

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