Fires

Latest on Camp Fire: Deaths hit 63, missing persons list jumps to 631

One week after the Camp Fire first sparked, it has claimed the lives of 63 individuals as of Thursday.

The Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history, has now spread across 141,000 acres and is 40 percent contained. Among the 11,862 buildings destroyed, 9,700 are single family homes and 290 businesses.

Of the 63 remains found, 53 have been tentatively identified pending DNA verification, said Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea during a press conference Thursday. Some family members of those who may have perished have begun to submit DNA samples for confirmation.

On Thursday, the remains of an additional seven people were found across Paradise, Magalia and Concow. According to Honea, three were found in Paradise, two in structures, one in a vehicle; three were found in Magalia, two inside structures, one outside; one was found in Concow outside.

A list of missing released Wednesday night topped 300 — Honea said the number of still unaccounted for individuals is 631, though he said some of those individuals may actually be safe, or duplicates names on the list.

“We’re starting to bring more order to the chaos,” he said. “There are a lot of people displaced, a lot of people don’t know we’re looking for them.”

A chaotic scene continues to play out in and around the Paradise area, the latest twist including an officer-involved shooting Thursday morning that concluded with a homicide suspect fatally shot. Witnesses called the sheriff’s department after seeing the unnamed 48-year-old parolee “acting strangely,” according to Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.

A car chase ensued when deputies approached the man, and after law enforcement disabled the suspect’s car with a “spike-strip,” officers “heard what they felt was a gun clicking.” A police dog from Sutter County released on the suspect was also killed by the officers’ fire, as well as the suspect’s dog.

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