Victims mourned as toll hits 77 in California wildfire

The toll from the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history rose further on Sunday to 77, the sheriff’s office said, after a vigil to honor the victims.

“One human remain was located today,” raising the toll by one in the so- called Camp Fire which broke out 10 days earlier in northern California, a statement from the Butte County Sheriff said, following US President Donald Trump’s visit on Saturday to survey the devastation.

On Sunday, mourners gathered at First Christian Church in Chico, near the incinerated community of Paradise, to hold a tearful vigil for the fire’s victims.

“We will rise from the ashes,” said a sign on the altar of the church, where survivors embraced, and one woman carried a picture of her father who died.

“Of the 77 fatalities, we have tentatively identified 67 individuals,” the sheriff’s office said.

The number of people unaccounted for has fallen to 993, from a peak that exceeded 1,200, the statement added.

More than 10,000 homes have been destroyed in the blaze which has devoured an area roughly the size of Chicago, and essentially wiped Paradise off the map. Thousands fled and many found temporary refuge at churches or in tents.

The National Weather Service said low humidity and gusty winds would continue across portions of California through Monday but the pattern could change.

The forecast for the Paradise area called for rain by Tuesday night, becoming heavy on Wednesday — a day before the major annual American celebration of Thanksgiving.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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