Authorities said late Thursday the death toll from the Camp Fire has risen to 63, bringing the statewide count to 66. In addition, more than 600 people have been reported missing, according to the Butte County sheriff’s office.
Despite the grim update, cooler weather has helped fire crews gain ground Thursday against the nation’s deadliest wildfire in a century as the search went on for more bodies.
Suzanne Kaksonen, who fled the flames with her two birds, said she’s been told she may have to wait six months before she can go back to Paradise, which was all but destroyed a week ago. “I don’t even care if there’s no home,” she said at a shelter set up next to a Walmart parking lot in Chico. “I just want to go back to my dirt, you know, and put a trailer up and clean it up and get going.”
At the other end of the state, crews made progress against the Woolsey Fire that destroyed over 500 structures in Malibu and other communities. At least three deaths were reported in Southern California.