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Wildfire that destroyed California town leaves 63 dead and 630 missing

© Ruptly

Rescue workers searched on Friday for 630 people reported missing in a northern California town reduced to ashes by the deadliest wildfire in state history.

At least 63 people were killed in and around Paradise by the Camp Fire that erupted a week ago in the Sierra foothills 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco. The fire is among the most lethal U.S. wildfires since 2000.

Authorities attribute the death toll in part to the speed with which flames raced through the town of 27,000, driven by wind and fueled by desiccated scrub and trees.

Nearly 12,000 homes and buildings burned hours after the blaze erupted, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said. The fire left a ghostly expanse of empty lots covered in ash and strewn with debris.

Thousands of additional structures are still threatened as firefighters, many from distant states, labored to contain and suppress the flames.

The revised roster of 630 missing people is up from 297 listed on Thursday by the Butte County Sheriff's Office.

(Video by Ruptly)

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