California's Camp Fire Death Toll Rises To 83 While Nearly 600 People Remain Missing

Butte County Sheriff-Coroner Kory L. Honea warned that the list of missing persons is "dynamic" and could fluctuate.

The death toll from Northern California’s Camp fire now stands at 83 following the discovery of two sets of human remains on Wednesday. 

Butte County Sheriff-Coroner Kory L. Honea said that search-and-rescue teams were “working diligently” to identify those killed in the blaze. 

“Of the 83 individuals who have been recovered, we have tentative identifications on 58 of them, and those identifications are ultimately awaiting DNA confirmation,” he said at a news briefing Wednesday night. 

The state’s death toll has risen to 86, which includes the discovery of three bodies in the Woolsey fire in Southern California. 

Rescue teams continue to search debris in Paradise, California, in the wake of the Camp fire's devastation.
Rescue teams continue to search debris in Paradise, California, in the wake of the Camp fire's devastation.

More than 2,000 people previously listed as missing have been accounted for, but Honea warned that, although the list has decreased, it may continue to fluctuate. 

“As of tonight, the current list for unaccounted individuals stands at 563. That number decreased by 307 people from last night,” he said. “I will tell you again that it is important to keep in mind that that is a dynamic list. You may see it go up or down depending on the information we receive during the course of the day.”

Nevertheless, Honea said that he was “encouraged by the fact that we continue to locate and account for more and more people.”

As communities begin to embark on the road to recovery following the deadliest wildfires in the state’s history, it was also announced Wednesday that schools in Butte County would reopen Dec. 3

“Preparations for the return to school include cleaning buildings and preparing teams of service providers to help staff and students get through trauma,” a statement from the county’s Office of Education read. 

According to the latest update from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the fires are 80 percent contained after burning through more than 153,000 acres.