Death Toll Rises In California Fires As Number Of Unaccounted Leaps Above 600
Authorities said late Thursday the death toll from California's Camp Fire has risen to 63, bringing the statewide count to 66.
In addition, more than 600 people have now been reported missing, according to the Butte County Seriff's Office.
Despite the grim update, cooler weather helped fire crews gain ground Thursday against the nation's deadliest wildfire in a century as the search went on for more human remains.
Suzanne Kaksonen, who fled the flames with her two birds, said she's been told she may have to wait six months before she can go back to Paradise, which was all but destroyed a week ago.
"I don't even care if there's no home," she said at a camp in a Walmart parking lot in Chico.
"I just want to go back to my dirt, you know, and put a trailer up and clean it up and get going."
At the other end of the state, crews made progress against the Woolsey Fire that destroyed over 500 structures in Malibu and other communities.
At least three deaths were reported in Southern California.
Officials held a press conference Thursday night with the latest details about the Camp Fire in Northern California.
The Butte County sheriff said seven additional human remains were found earlier, bringing the total dead from the Camp Fire to 63.
They said a total of 11,862 structures have been destroyed by the Camp Fire, including homes.
Sheriff Kory Honea has asked relatives of the missing to submit DNA samples to speed up identification of the dead.
However, he said some of those unaccounted for may never be conclusively found.
A FEMA official said anyone affected by the Camp Fire needs to register so they can receive assistant.
An official with the California Highway Patrol said looters will be prosecuted.
The CHP said road/highway conditions can be found online at the Butte County website. They said some 165 cars have been cleared from roadways.
The Butte County sheriff's office announced a total of 631 have been listed as "unaccounted" -- a jump in the past 24 hours.
NASA tweeted a satellite image showing the California skies "shrouded in smoke" from the deadly Camp Fire in Northern California.
The image was taken Nov. 14 -- the red points are burning fires, according to NASA.
Featured Image: Getty