631 reported missing, 63 dead in California wildfire

631 reported missing, 63 dead in California wildfire

The number of people reported missing in California's deadly wildfires has jumped to 631, as 65 victims are confirmed dead.

The new figure of 630 missing people is more than double the earlier figure of 297 listed during the day by Butte County Sheriff's Office.

At the other end of the state, meanwhile, crews continued to gain ground against a blaze of more than 97,920 acres that destroyed over 500 structures in Malibu and other Southern California communities.

In the wake of the deadliest wildfire in California's history, the town of Paradise was left looking as if it had been hit by a nuclear bomb.

Due to the administrative complications, it took longer for the official list of missing persons to be assembled.

Denise Chester, an evacuee of the Camp Fire, hugs her son Antonio Batres as she volunteers sorting clothes at a makeshift shelter in Chico, Calif., on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018.

The White House said President Donald Trump, who has blamed the fires on "gross mismanagement of the forest", would travel to California on Saturday to meet with victims and review the damage.


At least 59 deaths have been reported so far from the sprawling blazes in northern and southern California and the toll is expected to rise as body recovery teams with sniffer dogs conduct searches.

"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 did not know whether her home survived.

Sheriff Kory Honea asked relatives of missing people to submit DNA samples to speed up the identifying of the dead.

"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.

Paradise sits on a ridge between two higher hills, with only one main exit out of town. The fire was 62 per cent contained after destroying almost 550 homes and other buildings.

"We will keep you updated on details as they are available", Walters said.

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.

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