Toll rises to 77 in deadliest California wildfire

Saul Bowman
November 20, 2018

In an interview following Mr Trump's comments, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said he did not recall mentioning raking to the USA leader.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said much of the increase in the number of missing was due to his office's efforts to comb through a backlog of emergency calls that came in during the first hours of the fire on 8 November.

While predicted downpours have been expected to help temper the blazes that have killed 77 people so far, according to The Associated Press, they could also complicate the search for almost 1,300 people who have been named on a list of residents who have yet to be accounted for.

Authorities said some of those listed likely survived but have not yet notified family or officials, either because they lack phone service or were unaware anyone was looking for them.

As the latest string of California wildfires continue to burn and devastate the state, Queen Elizabeth has issued an official response to the tragedy.

Trump visited Paradise on Sunday, to check out the damage for himself.

Trump credited Finland's Sauli Niinisto for suggesting clearing forest floors to prevent forest fires while the American president was touring the devastation that's been left behind in California from some of the biggest forest fires in the state's history.

"I'm committed to make sure that we get all of this cleaned out and protected, (we've) got to take care of the forest, it's very important", Trump said in Paradise. "Is that enough? Can I go higher than that?"

As previously reported, the number of victims of forest fires in California has reached 71 people, missing persons believe 1011.

An American flag hangs at a burned out mobile home park in Paradise California on Nov 18 2018

"I don't think it's appropriate for any of us to sit and speculate about what the future holds", he said.

"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.

Almost 1,300 names are on a list of people unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began in Butte County, authorities said late Saturday.

Pope Francis has prayed for victims of California's wildfires and freezing weather on the US East Coast.

The two regions also have very different climates and environments, with California's dry, hot conditions more susceptible to blazes.

Fire and forest management experts criticized Trump last weekend for blaming the wildfires on poor forest management and misappropriation of funds.

That, and Finns don't rake forests, only their parks and yards.

The Butte County disaster coincided with a flurry of smaller blazes in southern California, including the Woolsey Fire.


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