The toll from the deadly wildfires in United States’ northern California went up 71 and the number of those missing increased from 631 to more than 1,000 on Friday, AFP reported. Rescuers found the remains of eight other victims of the Camp Fire blaze, taking the number of dead up to 71.
Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said the number of missing was on the rise as more reports of missing persons come in and as authorities continue to review emergency calls made when the fire broke out on November 8. Those on the missing list should not be presumed dead, he said.
“I want you to understand that this is a dynamic list,” said Honea. “The information I am providing you is raw data and we find there is the likely possibility that the list contains duplicate names.”
The Camp Fire inferno, which broke out in Butte County’s Sierra foothills, has completely destroyed Paradise town and forced more than 50,000 people to evacuate, USA Today reported. Officials have described it as the deadliest and most destructive fire in the state’s history. The fire has destroyed nearly 12,000 buildings, including 9,700 single-family homes. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the fire is 45% contained and firefighters will need until the end of the month to fully contain it.
In southern California, three other people were confirmed dead in the Woolsey fire, which has destroyed more than 98,300 acres west of Los Angeles and in Malibu. According to the fire department, the blaze has been 78% contained.
President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit California on Saturday to assess the damage and meet victims. On November 10, he had accused the forest department of poor management and threatened to withdraw federal funding, for which he received massive flak.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, $46.3 million (around Rs 332 crore) has been spent in dousing the blazes so far. More than 5,590 firefighters are fighting the flames, including 622 fire engines, 75 water tenders, 24 helicopters, 101 hand crews and 103 bulldozers, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.