Camp Fire Death Toll Grows to 63, More Than 600 Still Missing

Pauline Gross
Ноября 16, 2018

At least 63 people have been confirmed dead following the Camp Fire, which erupted a week ago in the drought-parched Sierra foothills, 280 kilometres north of San Francisco.

The revised official roster of 630 individuals whose whereabouts and fate remained unknown is more than double the 297 listed earlier in the day by the Butte County Sheriff's Office.

More than 9,000 firefighters from across the country, using more than 1,000 engines, have been battling the blazes, including the Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire, around 500 miles (805km) to the south.

Meanwhile, hundreds of fire refugees are living in tents and makeshift shelters.

Almost 8,700 homes have been destroyed and 15,500 buildings threatened, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said on Thursday.

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Sheriff Kory Honea said the list of missing would continue to fluctuate as more names are added and others are removed, either because they turn up safe or come to be identified among the dead.

The blaze destroyed almost 8,800 homes in the former gold mining settlement. It was 40 percent contained as of Wednesday evening.

Authorities said cooler temperatures and calmer winds had brought welcome relief to fire crews. 'You're not going to be able to rebuild Paradise the way it was, ' said Brock Long, of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "It looks like a war zone".

While the cause of the Camp Fire is still under investigation, a lawsuit has been filed against the local power company, PG&E, by fire victims claiming negligence by the utility.

A LINE of National Guard troops in white jumpsuits, red helmets and breathing masks sift for human remains in a town completely destroyed by the California wildfires.

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