North America

More than 1000 missing in wake of deadly Californian fires

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Rescue workers and government authorities are still working desperately to discover the fates of more than 1000 people missing, following a massive wildfire in northern California.

The number of people missing in a devastating wildfire in northern California jumped to more than 1000 on Friday, authorities said, as the remains of eight other victims were found by rescuers.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said the number of missing had soared from 631 on Thursday to 1011 on Friday as more reports of missing were being sent in and as emergency calls made when the fire broke out on November 8 are being reviewed.

A search and rescue dog searches for human remains at the Camp Fire. More than 1000 people are now missing, following the huge blaze.
A search and rescue dog searches for human remains at the Camp Fire. More than 1000 people are now missing, following the huge blaze.
AP

The eight additional victims brings to 71 the number of people who have died in the so-called Camp Fire.

"I want you to understand that this is a dynamic list," he told reporters. He said that on a positive note, 329 people who had been listed as missing since the fire broke out had so far been accounted for," Sheriff  Honea said.

"The information I am providing you is raw data and we find there is the likely possibility that the list contains duplicate names."

He added that some people who had escaped may also be unaware that they have been listed as missing.

Search and rescue personnel peer into a car with suspected human remains at the Camp Fire grounds.
Search and rescue personnel peer into a car with suspected human remains at the Camp Fire grounds.
AP

Three other people have died in southern California in a another blaze dubbed the Woolsey fire.

Northern California chokes on toxic air as Trump set to visit

Schools and tourist attractions across the San Francisco Bay Area were shut Friday and residents were urged to stay indoors as smoke from California's deadliest wildfire - a three-hour drive away - produced air quality levels worse than in South Asia's polluted megacities.

Rescue workers among the burnt out remains left in the wake of the fire.
Rescue workers among the burnt out remains left in the wake of the fire.
AP

The closures came as President Donald Trump was set to visit the western state Saturday to survey the damage and meet victims of the giant Camp Fire that has devoured an area roughly the size of Chicago.

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California fire
California fire

In an interview with Fox News ahead of his visit, Mr Trump doubled-down on his earlier claim that mismanagement of Califonia's forests was to blame for the fires. But he acknowledged that climate change may have contributed "a little bit" to the wildfires.

"You need forest management. It has to be," Trump told Fox. "I'm not saying that in a negative way, a positive -- I’m just saying the facts."

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