Searchers combing through the ruins of the deadliest wildfire in California history found eight more bodies Friday, bringing the number of dead in the Camp Fire to 71 as more than 1,000 people remained unaccounted for.
Seven of the eight bodies were found in the town of Paradise, which was all but destroyed in the fire that broke out Nov. 8, and the other was in Magalia, north of Paradise, said Butte County Sheriff-Coroner Kory L. Honea said. All were found inside structures.
Honea cautioned that the number of unaccounted for — 1,011 as of Friday night — could include names that are duplicates or have different spelling variations, and that investigators were working to verify them.
“I can’t let perfection get in the way of progress,” Honea said. “It’s important for us to get the information out so that we can get started on identifying these unaccounted individuals.”
The Camp Fire has displaced thousands of people and led to the evacuation of some 52,000 at the fire’s peak. About 47,200 remained evacuated Friday, officials said. The fire has burned 146,000 acres and was 50 percent contained Friday.