Number of missing people in California wildfires doubles to over 630


The deadliest wildfires in California's history have killed at least 65 people and more than 600 are still missing as authorities continue to search for victims.

The revised official roster of 630 individuals whose whereabouts and fate remained unknown is more than double the 297 listed earlier in the day by the Butte County Sheriff's Office.

At least 63 people so far have been confirmed as dead in the Camp Fire, which broke out a week ago in the drought-ridden Sierra foothills 175 miles (280km) north of San Francisco.

"If you look at that list and see your name, or the name of a friend or loved one, please call to let us know", he said. But he acknowledged some of those unaccounted for may never be conclusively found.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said on Thursday that a greater perimeter of both the state's major fires had been contained.

Authorities attributed the high death toll in part to the staggering speed with which the wind-driven flames, fueled by desiccated scrub and trees, raced through Paradise, a town of 27,000 residents.

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Most of the town - almost 12,000 homes and buildings - has been destroyed, and an army of firefighters, many from other states, joined the struggle to contain and suppress the flames.

There has been an outbreak of norovirus at a shelter housing people who left their homes to escape the Camp Fire, according to a Butte County public health spokeswoman.

It comes as the White House said Donald Trump will visit California on Saturday and meet people caught up in the disaster.

Across the state, more than 9,000 firefighters are involved in the fight to contain the fires.

A number of smaller blazes in southern California also brought panic to thousands.