The devastating wildfire in northern California has killed at least 63 people, authorities said late Thursday, more than doubling the death toll of the state’s previous biggest blaze.
Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea also told a press conference that the number of people unaccounted for had jumped from 200 to 631 people, as officials went back to recordings of calls made during the chaotic period at the start of the Camp Fire.
The sheriff added that 27 people unaccounted for had been located, bringing the total of those found alive to 227.
Honea said seven more people have been found deceased, while 53 of the total 63 victims had been tentatively identified as authorities awaited DNA confirmation.
Three of the latest fatalities were discovered north of state capital Sacramento in the town of Paradise, which was among those hardest-hit by the massive blaze.
The deadly blaze has spread to about 56,600 hectares and was 40 per cent contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) reported during the conference.
The Camp Fire has become California’s deadliest and most destructive, more than doubling the death toll of the 1933 Griffith Park blaze in Los Angeles County which killed 29.