Crews search for California fire victims as list of missing passes 600

California Gov. Jerry Brown Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long, Interior Secretary Rya

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

The number of people reported missing in California's deadly wildfires has jumped to 631, as 65 victims are confirmed dead.

The 63 deaths reported from the Camp Fire make it the deadliest wildfire in California's history, as the inferno also became the most destructive.

TRT World's Ediz Tiyansan reports from California. More than 5,000 fire personnel were battling the blaze that started a week ago and has displaced 52,000 people.

The town of 27,000 residents has been completely destroyed and all that is left is an expanse of smouldering ruins, twisted wreckage and debris.

Cal Fire said that 40 percent of the Camp Fire's perimeter had been contained, up from 35 percent, even as the blaze footprint grew 2,000 acres to 141,000 acres (57,000 hectares). An army of firefighters, many from distant states, labored to contain and suppress the flames.

The missing persons' list has doubled since earlier on Thursday.

"The level of chaos we were dealing with was extraordinary", says Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea, whose office released the list of names.

Betsy Totten, a Chico city spokeswoman, said it's unclear what will be done if people don't leave, but officials don't plan to kick them out.

In announcing the revised death and missing toll, the Sheriff and Coroner of Butte County asked relatives to submit DNA samples to speed up the identification of the victims.

The "Woolsey Fire" has razed 98,000 acres (39,660 hectares) and has been 57 percent contained. "Some days there might be more people".

A Washington State firefighter who was part of the Woolsey Fire response was airlifted Thursday to Thousand Oaks after being struck by a vehicle in Malibu.

A Sunday closure "gives us enough time to maybe figure something out", said Mike Robertson, an evacuee who arrived there on Monday with his wife and two daughters. But scientists largely attribute the disastrous wildfire seasons California has experienced over the past couple of years, to prolonged drought symptomatic of climate change.

Last weekend the US President blamed "gross mismanagement" of the forests for the fires, and threatened to withhold federal payments.

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