Northern California Wildfire: 63 Dead; Number of Missing People Hits 631

Northern California Wildfire: 63 Dead; Number of Missing People Hits 631

Honea said he was too busy with the emergency and the recovery of human remains to analyze how the evacuation went.

The death toll in Northern California's Camp fire rose once again on Thursday to 63 as rescue workers continue to search through the devastation left by the state's deadliest blaze in history, authorities said.

The high number of dead and missing is attributed to the speed with which the flames, driven by high winds and facilitated by parched scrubland and trees, raced through the town of Paradise.

TRT World's Ediz Tiyansan reports from California. The Butte County disaster coincided with a flurry of smaller blazes in Southern California, including the Woolsey Fire, which has been linked with three fatalities and destroyed at least 500 structures in the mountains and foothills near the Malibu coast west of Los Angeles.

Most of the town - almost 12,000 homes and buildings - has been destroyed, and an army of firefighters, many from other states, joined the struggle to contain and suppress the flames.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea says many may be safe, but he's making the list public so people can let officials know they're safe.

Honea said that while recovery efforts remain hard, increased resources have helped "bring more order to the chaos that we're dealing with".

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

California authorities collected DNA samples from relatives on Thursday to help identify victims of the western USA state's deadliest-ever wildfire. 56 people are now confirmed dead and many more remain unaccounted for.

President Donald Trump plans to travel to California on Saturday to visit victims of the wildfires burning at both ends of the state.

Volunteers who helped bring in free food and clothing said Thursday they are phasing out amenities.

Those who survived the flames but lost homes were moving in temporarily with friends or relatives or bunking down in American Red Cross shelters. Trump sparked outrage over the weekend when he tweeted that the fires were to blame on state forest management and threatened to withhold federal funds.

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