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Officials try to account for hundreds missing in fire’s wake

Posted at 9:13 PM, Nov 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-16 22:13:35-05

CHICO, Calif. (AP) – With the confirmed death toll standing at 63 in the Northern California wildfire, authorities on Friday struggled to determine how many of the more than 600 people listed as missing have turned up, or whose remains could still be in the ashes.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, will travel to the disaster zone Saturday to get a look at the grief and damage caused by the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century, and he could face resentment from locals for blaming the inferno on poor forest management in California.

In an interview taped Friday and scheduled for broadcast on “Fox News Sunday,” Trump said he was surprised to see images of firefighters removing dried brush near a fire, adding, “This should have been all raked out.”

As the search for bodies continued, Butte County spokeswoman Miranda Bowersox said the “unaccounted for” list released by the sheriff’s office late Thursday was an effort to put names out there so people can call in to say they are OK.

The roster probably includes some who fled the blaze and do not realize they’ve been reported missing, Sheriff Kory Honea said.