Published: Fri, November 16, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Camp Fire search efforts intensify with scores of people still missing

Camp Fire search efforts intensify with scores of people still missing

The death toll from the Camp Fire in Northern California has reached 56, with more than 130 still missing, mostly from the town of Paradise.

The number of people declared missing in one of California's catastrophic wildfires has more than doubled to 631, as the struggle continues to contain one of the biggest blazes the U.S. state has ever known.

TRT World's Ediz Tiyansan reports from California.

At least two people have died and 500 homes have been destroyed in the fire that's been burning in Southern California since November 8.

What was left was a ghostly, smoky expanse of empty lots covered in ash and strewn with twisted wreckage and debris. An army of firefighters, many from distant states, were still trying to contain and suppress the flames.

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Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said the number of missing had more than doubled during the day to 631 as investigators went back and checked emergency calls made when the fire broke out a week ago.

The cause of the fires are being investigated.

The "Woolsey Fire" has razed 98,000 acres (39,660 hectares) and has been 57 percent contained.

Some northern parts of the state could see precipitation as early as this weekend and it is hoped the rainfall could provide much-needed moisture for the fire-stricken region.

The White House said on Thursday that President Donald Trump, who has been criticized as having politicized the fires by casting blame on forest mismanagement, plans to visit the fire zones on Saturday to meet displaced residents.

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After surveying the damage to his own property, 007 star Brosnan appeared in front of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to ask for aid to be provided to areas swept by the wildfires.

They recounted being stunned at how swiftly the fire roared through Paradise the first night.

It said almost 5,500 firefighters were battling the blaze and it did not expect it to be fully contained for another two weeks.

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin also spoke at the meeting, saying: "I'm here just to reassure everybody that we as a community are going to do our utmost to help ourselves. I love you, '" Nicole said.

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