Over 1,000 people missing in wildfire in California: authorities

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In this Nov. 13, 2018 file, messages are shown on a bulletin board at The Neighborhood Church in Chico, Calif., as evacuees, family and friends search for people missing from the northern California wildfire. (Photo: Xinhua)

The number of people listed as missing in the wildfire in Northern California has jumped to over 1,000, authorities said on Friday evening.

Eight additional human remains were recovered Friday, bringing the death toll to 71, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea disclosed at a daily media briefing.

Honea said the list of those unaccounted for is "dynamic and will fluctuate every day," warning that the number, growing from 631 on Thursday, reflected raw data and may include duplicate names.

He said the list is changing because people kept emailing information to the sheriff's office and calling the hotline to report missing persons.

Dubbed Camp Fire, the deadest blaze in California's history was first reported on Nov. 8 and soon torched Paradise, a peaceful foothill town, and heavily damaged the neighboring communities in a few hours.

It was 45 percent contained as of Friday evening and posed no immediate threat to populated areas. So far, 9,700 houses and 144 apartment buildings have been burned down.

Officials said fire danger will increase this weekend and rain is expected next Wednesday. However, it could be bad news for the search-and-recovery teams as the rain may complicate efforts to find human remains, which are in some cases just bones and bone fragments.

Nearly 500 people are working for the search-and-recovery teams.