California wildfires: Number of missing leaps to 631

Death toll from California wildfire rises to 77
The number of people missing in northern California’s devastating wildfire has leapt to more than 600, and seven more bodies have been found, according to local authorities. The missing persons’ list has doubled since earlier on Thursday. The Camp Fire, the state’s deadliest and most destructive blaze, has killed at least 63 people. Nearly 12,000 buildings have been destroyed. Three more people have also died in the Woolsey Fire, further south. President Donald Trump will travel to California on Saturday to survey the damage and meet those affected. About 9,400 firefighters are currently battling wildfires across the state. The Camp Fire – which broke out eight days ago – swept through a swathe of the north at high speed, leaving residents little time to escape. The official list more than doubled from 300 to 631 on Thursday. At a news briefing, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said this was because investigators had thoroughly cross-checked their information, including emergency calls made since the Camp Fire started on 8 November. “I want you to understand that the chaos we were dealing with was extraordinary,” Mr Honea said. He stressed that the number of the missing would most likely fluctuate.

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