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California wildfire death toll rises to 83, says Sheriff

The blaze that started November 8 levelled Paradise, destroying more than 13,000 homes. Paradise is about 140 miles north of San Francisco.

world Updated: Nov 22, 2018 13:36 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Sacramento (California)
California,california wildfire,death toll
FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 file photo, a firefighter battles the Woolsey Fire burning a home in Malibu, Calif. Fire officials announced Wednesday evening, Nov. 21, that the Woolsey Fire is 100 percent contained. The wind-whipped blaze erupted on Nov. 8 and spread destruction from Thousand Oaks to Malibu, west of Los Angeles.(AP)

A California sheriff says two more sets of human remains have been found, bringing death toll from a wildfire to 83.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea says more than 560 names remain on the missing list.

Authorities stressed that many of the people on the list may be safe and unaware they have been reported missing.

The blaze that started November 8 levelled Paradise, destroying more than 13,000 homes. Paradise is about 140 miles north of San Francisco.

The cause of the fire has not been determined. PG&E reported an outage on a transmission line near the time and place where the fire began.

The company is targeted in at least two other lawsuits filed by people who survived the blaze but lost their homes.

A PG&E spokeswoman says safety is the company’s highest priority. The company has warned investors its liability may exceed its insurance if it is found responsible.

The rain was causing concerns Wednesday about mudslides and other problems in Northern California.

In a Walmart parking lot where thousands of evacuees had taken refuge, Amy Sheppard was packing her belongings into a black plastic garbage bag in the rain.

The 38-year-old woman says she plans to go to a hotel where her sister and 1-year-old niece are staying after the three of them camped in the lot for four days.

The family lost their home in Magalia.

Several dozen tents remain at the lot, although most services have been stopped. Sheppard says many of the remaining people are homeless, not victims of the fire.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he’s donating USD 1 million to help those affected by a wildfire near his hometown that decimated a town and killed at least 81 people.

Rodgers who was born and raised in Chico, California, where evacuees are being sheltered after the blaze destroyed the nearby town of Paradise, says the money will go toward recovery and rebuilding efforts.

He said in a video posted Wednesday on his Twitter account that he is partnering with the North Valley Community Foundation to raise money for those in Butte County who were affected.

Wearing a “Butte Strong” sweat shirt, Rodgers says one of his corporate partners, State Farm, will donate USD 1 for every retweet of his post and up to USD 1 million. The blaze destroyed more than 13,500 homes.

First Published: Nov 22, 2018 09:06 IST