California wildfires: Over 600 missing as seven more victims found

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Body recovery teams are conducting a painstaking search of burned-out homes for human remains in the town and closely examining the many charred cars littering the roads.

At least 63 are now dead from a Northern California wildfire, and officials say they have a missing persons list with 631 names on it in an ever-evolving accounting of the missing after the nation's deadliest wildfire in a century.

At least 56 people have been confirmed dead so far in the Camp Fire, which erupted a week ago in the drought-parched Sierra foothills 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco and now ranks as one of the most lethal single USA wildfires since the turn of the last century.

Authorities attributed the high death toll in part to the staggering speed with which the wind-driven flames tore through, fuelled by desiccated scrub and trees.

TRT World's Ediz Tiyansan reports from California.

Three more have died in the Woolsey Fire, further south.

One week after the fire started, firefighters reported progress in battling the 141,000-acre blaze that has displaced 52,000 people.

In his defense, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said evacuation orders were issued through 5,227 emails, 25,643 phone calls and 5,445 texts, in addition to social media and the use of loudspeakers.

The seven additional victims brings to 63 the number of people who have died in the Camp Fire. Containment of the Woolsey fire grew to 57 percent.

Investigators on Thursday collected DNA samples from relatives to help identify victims as hundreds of rescue personel and sniffer dogs worked to locate more victims.

A Sunday closure "gives us enough time to maybe figure something out", said Mike Robertson, an evacuee who arrived there on Monday with his wife and two daughters.

President Donald Trump is set to visit the western state on Saturday to meet with victims of the wildfires, believed to be the deadliest and most destructive in the state's history. 56 people are now confirmed dead and many more remain unaccounted for.

He has previously blamed Californian officials for wildfires and threatened to withhold federal funding.

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.