Death toll rises in California’s Camp Fire as number of unaccounted for leaps — live updates(Video)

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Authorities said late Thursday the death toll from California’s Camp Fire has risen to 63, bringing the statewide count to 66. In addition, more than 600 people have now been reported missing, according to the Butte County Seriff’s Office.

 Despite the grim update, cooler weather helped fire crews gain ground Thursday against the nation’s deadliest wildfire in a century as the search went on for more human remains.

  • 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 camp in 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

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  • Follow California wildfire updates below:

  • California wildfires fast facts

    Firefighters are battling two major wildfires in California. Here’s a breakdown by the numbers as of Thursday evening, according to Cal Fire and local officials.

    Camp Fire

    • Location: Butte County

    • 141,000 acres burned

    • 40 percent contained

    • 63 fatalities confirmed

    • 11,862 structures destroyed (including homes)

    Woolsey Fire

    • Location: Los Angeles County, Ventura County

    • 98,362 acres burned

    • 62 percent contained

    • 3 fatalities confirmed

    • 435 structures destroyed, 57,000 in danger

  • California wildfire map

    A map shows where two major fires are burning in California.

    A map shows where two major fires are burning in California.


    The “Camp Fire” in Northern California is raging north of the state capital of Sacramento, and the “Woolsey Fire” is burning outside Los Angeles.

    • Camp Fire now blamed for 63 deaths in Northern California

      9:05 p.m.: Officials held a press conference Thursday night with the latest details about the Camp Fire in Northern California. The Butte County sheriff said seven additional human remains were found earlier, bringing the total dead from the Camp Fire to 63 (statewide 66).

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      They said a total of 11,862 structures have been destroyed by the Camp Fire, including homes.

      A FEMA official said anyone affected by the Camp Fire needs to register so they can receive assistant.

      An official with the California Highway Patrol said looters will be prosecuted.

      The CHP said road/highway conditions can be found online at the Butte County website. They said some 165 cars have been cleared from roadways.

      The Butte County sheriff’s office announced a total of 631 have been listed as “unaccounted” — a jump in the past 24 hours. The list can be found here.

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      CBS News



       Official says there are now 631 people unaccounted for in the area affected by the CA Camp Fire, an increase of 501 people from last night. 

       NASA image shows deadly Camp Fire from above

      NASA tweeted a satellite image showing the California skies “shrouded in smoke” from the deadly Camp Fire in Northern California.

      The image was taken Nov. 14 — the red points are burning fires, according to NASA.




       California skies are shrouded in smoke as the continues to rage. The fire has been fueled by dry conditions & Santa Ana winds. Our @NASAEarth satellite captured this image on Nov. 14—actively burning fires are shown as red points. 

    • DNA samples requested

      Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea has asked relatives of the missing to submit DNA samples to speed up identification of the dead. However, he said some of those unaccounted for may never be conclusively found.

    • San Francisco cable cars halted over smoky air

      San Francisco’s iconic open-air cable cars have been pulled off the streets because of choking air wafting in from a wildfire in Northern California.

      The city’s transportation agency said Thursday that because of the poor air quality, “all cable cars will be pulling back into the cable car barn.”

      The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency made the announcement on Twitter, saying buses would provide service for the remainder of the day.

      Schools in San Francisco, Sacramento, Oakland and elsewhere have announced they will be closed Friday because of the poor air quality.

    • Trump to meet with wildfire victims

      In this aerial photo, a burned neighborhood is seen in Paradise, California, on Nov. 15, 2018.

      In this aerial photo, a burned neighborhood is seen in Paradise, Calif., on Nov. 15, 2018.


      President Trump will travel to California on Saturday to meet with wildfire victims, the White House said Thursday. No other details were provided about the president’s trip.

    • “This is not a Republican or Democrat issue”

      U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said that fighting massive wildfires was “not a Republican or Democrat issue” days after President Trump had threatened to withhold federal aid for California and blaming the fires on “poor” forest management. Zinke called the Camp Fire the worst fire that he had ever seen.

      “It’s unsustainable to have this happen year after year or have a season like this where you have hundred-thousand-acre fires becoming routine,” Zinke said during a press conference with California Gov. Jerry Brown. “We’re a great nation. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. This is an American issue, and we should address it as such.”

      Zinke said there was no “silver bullet” to tackling the problem and emphasized cooperation between various levels of government. Brown said forests in the state should be managed better, cities should be built more intelligently and climate change had to be addressed.

      “We’ve got to get on the side of nature,” the governor said. “We can’t just fight it.”

    • Norovirus outbreak at Camp Fire shelter

      There’s been an outbreak of norovirus at a shelter housing people who evacuated their homes to escape the Camp Fire. Butte County public health spokeswoman Lisa Almaguer said lab tests confirmed the virus’ presence.

      Those who were sick have been quarantined at the shelter in Chico, California, but in an area separate from healthy evacuees, Almaguer said. She did not know how many people had contracted the virus.

      Staff mopped floors with bleach Wednesday at the Neighborhood Church in Chico, where a large room has been converted into a makeshift medical care center. Norovirus is highly contagious and can cause diarrhea, fever and body aches.

      It spreads commonly when people are in close quarters.

    • Evacuees forced to set up camp in parking lot

      For those who escaped the Camp Fire, the daily litany of updated numbers fails to capture the full impact of the disaster surrounding them, CBS News correspondent Mireya Villarreal reports. With shelters at near-capacity and thousands more displaced, many have been forced to set up camp in a Walmart parking lot in nearby Chico, California.

      “There’s more evacuees, more people running out of money for hotels,” said Matthew Flanagan of Paradise, which was left in ruins by the fire. “And families, you know, they’re staying with people, but, you know, they can’t stay there forever.”

      Government officials said rebuilding efforts could take years. “Right now, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is working with 700 open disasters,” FEMA Administrator Brock Long told reporters Wednesday. “All these disasters take multiple years to get through.”

    • California issues warning about air quality

      Search teams in the area of the Camp Fire are dealing with heavy smoke and hazardous air pollution. The smog is affecting cities hundreds of miles away from the fire, and the state is warning people about the air quality.

      A monitoring station in Palermo, California, near the Camp Fire said levels of pollutants are 13 times higher than at a station near the Nevada state line in Truckee, California. The smoke is flowing southwest, creating “unhealthy” conditions as far away as the state capital of Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area.

    • Fundraiser brings in more than $1 million

      CBS Los Angeles teamed up with the Los Angeles Rams and the United Way to raise money for victims of the massive wildfires in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and Wednesday’s day-long effort brought in more than $1.1 million.

      Celebrities including Robin Thicke, Stephanie Weir, Pauley Perrette, Heather Tom and John McCook helped out at the phone bank, along with Galaxy player Daniel Steres and Rams legends Eric Dickerson and Jackie Slater.

      Even though the telethon ended late Wednesday night, you can still donate.

      CBS L.A. sent a special thank you all the volunteers who pitched in as well as the Annenberg Foundation, Dole Food Company, Edison International, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Sikand Foundation and 21st Century Fox for generous donations.

      Barrett Foa from “NCIS: Los Angeles” said the cast pledged $10,000 after seeing Foa’s appearance during the telethon earlier in the day and starting a text message chain.

      Two sisters visited CBS L.A. during the fundraiser to donate their last $20, despite their having fallen on hard times.

    • Firefighter hit by car

      CBS Los Angeles’ Mike Rogers reports a firefighter battling the Woolsey Fire has been injured:

      Mike Rogers@MikeRogersTV

       : A firefighter from Washington state has been hit by a car while fighting the Woolsey fire. The crash happened on PCH near Deer Creek Road in just after midnight. The fireman’s condition is not known at this time.

    • Jeff Hill joins CBSN to describe his rescue of a mule during wildfire

      Jeff Hill of Paradise, California, joined CBSN over the phone Wednesday night to describe his rescue of a mule he found trapped in a pool as the wildfire raged in the community.

      He had posted pictures of the mule on Facebook and they have since gone viral.

      Hill told CBSN he had lost his own home in Paradise, but found a glimpse of hope as he came to the mule’s rescue.

      The horse “had the look of defeat in her eyes,” Hill wrote on Facebook. But thanks to the pool, she was spared from the deadliest wildfire in California history.

    • Interior chief: Now is “not the time to point fingers”

      U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said it’s not the time to “point fingers” as he was visiting the aftermath of the “Camp Fire.” Zinke lamented the destruction Wednesday and said there were many factors in wildfires, including rising temperatures.

      “There’s a lot of reasons for a fire,” he said. “Now is really not the time to point fingers.”

      Zinke was visiting the town of Paradise with Gov. Jerry Brown days after President Trump blamed “poor” forest management for the fire. Brown said climate change was the greater source of the problem.

      Brown said he spoke with Mr. Trump on Wednesday and that the president has pledged “the full resources of the federal government.” Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long called the blaze “one of the worst disasters that I’ve seen in my career.”

      Long said people affected by the fire can start requesting federal assistance.

    • Utility’s shares plummet as liability concerns rise

      PG&E‘s stock lost more than 20 percent of its value Wednesday after the utility said it does not have nearly enough insurance coverage if it is found liable for the “Camp Fire.” San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. told Wall Street regulators that if its equipment were found to have caused the fire that has ravaged the town of Paradise, it “could be subject to significant liability in excess of insurance coverage.”

      That would deal a major blow to the utilities’ finances and operations, it said. It noted that investigators have not yet determined the cause of the blaze.

      PG&E’s stock fell $7.13 to close Wednesday at $25.69, a level it hasn’t seen since 2003. It has lost 47 percent of its value since the fire broke out last week.

      The company said it has wildfire liability insurance coverage of about $1.4 billion for the year that ends July 31, 2019. An analyst with Citi Investment Research estimates damages from the fire could exceed $15 billion but noted that the state of California “will likely step in to protect the utility and its customers.”