The inconceivable death toll in Paradise, California’s Camp Fire increased to 63 on Thursday, while an additional 631 people remained unaccounted for, according to county officials.
“Camp fire death toll climbs to 63, number of missing jumps to 631.”
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) November 16, 2018
According to the Los Angeles Times, people in the community have vowed to rebuild.
Jim Broshears, the Paradise emergency operations coordinator, told a town meeting that they definitely plan to rebuild the town which has been completely destroyed.
“We’re determined to start rebuilding the community — from you, up,” he told the audience of Paradise residents. “You are the foundation of the community.”
Hundreds of exhausted rescue workers are still continuing their search through the devastation left by the fire, which is the deadliest in the long history of California. And they are still fighting the fire, since according to officials it is just 40 percent contained.
Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told a news briefing that the increased number of missing persons was due to the continuing work by emergency response personnel. They have been going through reports trying to determine who is missing and who may be displaced in shelters throughout the region. He asked local residents to search at the list of those unaccounted for and to let authorities know if they are safe.
“The reason that that number went up is because after they went up, emergency officials didn’t stop working, they continued to work into the night,” Honea said. “I’m fine with that update, because I would rather get that information out than wait too much longer to do that.”
He continued: “I want you to understand that there are a lot of people displaced and there are a lot of people who don’t know we’re looking for them.”
Honea said that while recovery efforts remain difficult, increased resources have helped “bring more order to the chaos that we’re dealing with.”
Brent Newman, chief of the California Highway Patrol’s Valley Division, said officials were “more committed than we’ve ever been,” adding that it had been a tough week, but authorities were set on providing the community “outstanding support” throughout the recovery efforts.
According to the Times,
“By Thursday evening, the blaze had chewed through 141,000 acres and 11,862 structures, destroying an entire town in a matter of hours. Officials said it could take weeks to complete the search for victims. Thousands of survivors are now without homes and living in shelters and tent cities.”
Fire officials also said that high winds and dry conditions will be continuing, making the conditions even worse for containing the fire.
The National Weather Service, said Wednesday that the agency expected some rain to arrive by the end of next week.
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