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18 Nov, 2018 02:31

‘Total devastation’: Trump visits California as wildfire death toll jumps to 76, with 1,276 missing

‘Total devastation’: Trump visits California as wildfire death toll jumps to 76, with 1,276 missing

The death toll from the worst-ever California wildfires has increased to 76, while the list of those unaccounted-for continues to grow and has jumped to 1,276, even as authorities located hundreds of previously missing persons.

The remains of five more people were discovered on Saturday in northern California as firefighters continue to battle the wildfire that has been raging for over a week and is so far only 55 percent contained.

The new figures were announced just as President Donald Trump arrived in California to personally inspect the scale of destruction from the Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire just outside of Los Angeles.

Pledging to allocate federal resources to help Californians recover from the most deadly wildfire in their state's history, Trump remarked: “This is very sad to see, but we’re all going to work together."

While the list of casualties and missing persons continues to rise, Butte County officials expressed the hope that there might be ID duplication, or that many of those unaccounted for are alive but simply unaware that they had been reported missing. But even though authorities managed to locate over 700 people previously believed missing, with hundreds of new reports the toll has grown to 1,276.

The Camp Fire in Paradise has now destroyed around 13,000 structures after ripping through roughly 149,000 acres since November 8.

Meanwhile the Woolsey Fire in Southern California has resulted in at least three deaths after burning through some 98,000 acres of land. This fire, which is now 82 percent contained, destroyed at least 836 structures.

A red flag warning for California remains in place throughout Sunday, the National weather service said, noting that winds of up to 40mph could be recorded around the Camp Fire zone. Rain is expected to arrive sometime mid-week, which could help responders deal with the blaze.

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