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Death toll hits 56 in California's Camp Fire

The latest: Thursday, Nov. 15

Hundreds of people are combing through the charred remains of towns incinerated by a Northern California wildfire that already has claimed 56 lives.

More bodies were found Wednesday and Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea says 130 more people are listed as missing.

Authorities searching through the blackened aftermath of California's deadliest wildfire Wednesday released the names of some 130 people who are unaccounted for, including many in their 80s and 90s, and said dozens more could still be missing.

Officials in Northern California said Tuesday that search crews had found six more bodies, bringing the death toll from the so-called Camp Fire to 56 and the statewide total to 59.

As the names of the missing were made public, more crews joined the search. “We want to be able to cover as much ground as quickly as we possibly can,” Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said. “This is a very difficult task.”

A sheriff's department spokeswoman, Megan McMann, acknowledged that the list of the missing was incomplete. She said detectives were concerned about being overwhelmed with calls from relatives if the entire list were released.

A new lawsuit blames the fire on a major utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, for allegedly failing to inspect and properly maintain its power lines. In a statement, PG&E said customer safety was its “highest priority” and it's focusing on helping first responders.

Five hundred miles south, firefighters have made progress battling the “Woolsey Fire,” passing the 50-percent containment mark. Some neighborhoods were reopened, and residents were able to see if their homes survived.


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Photo by: NBC, Noah Berger/AP/Homes leveled by the Camp Fireline, in Paradise, California, on Nov. Monday.

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