Number of missing in California wildfires jumps to 631

Kitsap County firefighter injured while in California to help with Woolsey blaze

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More than 600 people are missing and 63 have died in California's still-raging Camp Fire, authorities said Thursday night.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea also announced a shocking spike in the number of missing, which climbed to 631. The blaze has spread across more than 150 square miles, making it one of the most destructive in the state's history.

The couple were among hundreds of people reported missing after a massive blaze, called the Camp Fire, levelled the Northern California town.

A few Northern California communities are moving to install sirens after some wine country residents complained they didn't receive warnings to evacuate ahead of a deadly wildfire in October 2017 that destroyed 5,300 homes.

It's unclear what will be done if people don't leave Sunday, but city officials don't plan to kick them out, said Betsy Totten, a Chico spokeswoman. At an evening news briefing he said the remains of seven more victims had been located since Wednesday.

The White House said President Donald Trump, who has blamed the fires on "gross mismanagement of the forest", would travel to California on Saturday to meet with victims and review the damage. "There are more evacuees, more people running out of money for hotels". "Each trip I say 'this is the worst fire I have seen, ' and now we're here today, and I'll say 'this is the worst fire that I have seen'".

"The chaos that we were dealing with was extraordinary", he said of the early crisis hours last week.

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Numerous victims and the hundreds missing in the Camp Fire were elderly people who lived in the Butte County town of Paradise, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Thousands of additional structures were still threatened by the blaze, and as many as 50,000 people remained under evacuation orders.

Paradise sits on a ridge between two higher hills, with only one main exit out of town.

Sheriff Honea said the list may contain people who do not know they are considered lost.

The blaze destroyed almost 8,800 homes in the former gold mining settlement.

At the other end of the state, meanwhile, more residents were being allowed back into the zone of a wildfire that torched an area the size of Denver west of Los Angeles.

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