By Terray Sylvester
PARADISE, Calif. (Reuters) – Authorities sifted through the charred wreckage of California’s deadliest ever wildfire on Sunday, searching for any signs of the 1,276 people now listed as missing after the Camp Fire tore through the mountain town of Paradise.
The remains of 76 people have been recovered so far, 63 of whom have been tentatively identified pending DNA confirmation. Early on Sunday the blaze, which ignited on Nov. 8, was 60 percent contained, officials said, up from 55 percent Saturday.
Rain is forecast for the area this week, potentially helping douse the flames but raising the risk of floods and mudslides, adding to the misery of 46,000 people under evacuation orders.
Many refugees from the fire have taken up temporary residence with friends and relatives, while others have pitched tents or were camping out of their vehicles.
The death toll far surpasses the previous fatality record from a single California wildfire – 29 in the Griffith Park fire of 1933 in Los Angeles – and already ranks among the deadliest U.S. wildfires since the turn of the last century.