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The number of missing people in Butte County fire jumps dramatically to 631

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An aerial view of Paradise off of Clark Road on Nov. 15, 2018. The Camp Fire has burned more than 7,000 structures in Paradise, Calif. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

The death toll from the devastating Camp fire in Northern California jumped to 63 on Thursday as search crews recovered seven more bodies in the burn area.

The number of people unaccounted for jumped dramatically to 631 people, up from 130 on Wednesday evening.
Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told reporters that crews found three bodies in Magalia, three in Paradise and one in Concow. One body in Paradise was found in a car that had been flipped on its side.

The blaze has scorched 141,000 acres and destroyed 11,862 structures. It was 40 percent contained as of Wednesday evening.

The Paradise fire is now by far the worst fire in California history, destroying an entire town in a matter of hours.

Officials said it could take weeks to complete the search for victims,
Thousands of survivors are now without homes and living in shelters and tent cities.

The fire is also causing a major public health problem as smoke choked huge swaths of Northern California, including Sacramento and the Bay Area.

It has pushed the region’s air quality into the unhealthy zone on the Environmental Protection Agency’s index. Many schools, including all within the San Francisco Unified School District, will be closed Friday.

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