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Camp Fire 90% contained as death toll rises to 83

By Allen Cone

Nov. 22 (UPI) -- The Cal Fire, the most deadly and widespread wildfire in California, was 90 percent contained but the death toll has risen to 83.

On Wednesday night, the Butte County Sheriff's Office reported the remains of two people were found in structures in the towns of Paradise and Magalia. Of the fatalities, 58 have been identified.

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The number of unaccounted people decreased by 307 to 563 and the number of accounted for individuals rose to by 188 to 2,052. More than 1,000 originally were reported as missing.

Searchers will continue to search for remains on Thanksgiving but some crews could be held back if mudslides threaten the burn area, Butte County Sheriff-Coroner Kory L. Honea said. The process of sifting through the ash and debris is more difficult during the rain.

"But I can assure you that we are going to continue to push forward because this is important work that we're doing," Honea said in an NBC report.

A series of Pacific storms through Friday will produce heavy rain in portions of California, "including recent burn scars where debris flows, mudslides and flash flooding," according to the National Weather Service.

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The northern part of the state could see up to 2 inches of rain in valley areas and as much as 4 to 8 inches of rain at higher elevations, according to Idamis Del Valle, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Sacramento said to CNN.

"The area has been dry for a while, so it's great to have beneficial rain," she said. "Although if it comes in high intensive rates then that could lead to debris flows on new burn scars.

"They're basically fast-moving, deadly landslides."

The Camp Fire, which broke out on Nov. 8, has burned through 153,336 acres, according to Cal Fire on Thursday.

The area is roughly the size of Chicago, according to Cal Fire.

Destroyed were 13,906 residences, 514 commercial buildings and 4,232 other buildings.

Three others have been killed in the Woolsey Fire in Southern California, which is 100 percent contained, according to Cal Fire. It burned 96,949 acres and destroyed 1,500 structures in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

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