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By Alex Johnson
The number of missing people in Northern California Camp Fire zone more than doubled on Thursday according to authorities said the number of deaths in the deadliest forest fire in California's history rose from seven to 63.
The Butte County shaker, Kory Honea, who provided the figures updated at a press conference on Thursday night, said the information continued rapidly and was likely to change at any time.
The Camp Fire, which lit on November 8 in the town of Flea, continued to grow slowly, reaching 141,000 acres on Thursday, with reported containment by 40 percent. Officials say the fire is not expected to be fully contained by the end of November.
The number of missing people continues to skyrocket, rising from 297 on Wednesday night to 631 on Thursday night, said Honea.
With the authorities working to synthesize the reports of three separate hotlines, "you have to understand, people: this is a dynamic list," Honea said. "Some days may have more people. Some days may have fewer people."
Honea said that it was likely that "many people do not know what we are looking for."
The number of destroyed structures was 11,862, including 9,700 single-family homes, about 1,000 more than was reported on Wednesday.
The authorities said they had no firm accounts of how many people had been taken from their homes to refuges. But they said that at the height of the week, the number reached 52,000.
Some areas have seen Evacuation orders were reduced and warnings were raised Thursdays and public services companies began restoring essential services with crews working to eliminate dangerous trees, the weakening of service poles and damaged pipes.
Some of these evacuees faced a new threat, according to health officials, who confirmed that 21 people were sick with norovirus in a refuge in the neighboring church of Chico, where they joined 179 people. Norovirus is a contagious virus that causes serious vomiting and diarrhea.
Lisa Almaguer, a spokeswoman for the Butte County Health Department, told NBC News that laboratory tests confirmed the presence of the virus in the refuge. She said the agency was isolating people with symptoms from the rest of the refugee population and that she was "taking all necessary preventive measures" in other shelters, although no norovirus confirmed by a laboratory had been detected elsewhere.
Offshore winds have caused choking smoke to the San Francisco bay area, said Kristine Roselius, a spokesman for the Bay Air Quality Management District. Public bay area schools planned to close on Friday.
The official cause of the fire was not determined, but Pacific Gas & Electric said in a document presented in the US Securities and Markets Commission this week that his team could cause the fire.
The White House said yesterday that President Donald Trump, who promised total federal government support to Governor Jerry Brown this week, would visit California on Saturday to assess the damage of both fires that devastated the state – Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire, which killed three people in southern California.
The president's visit comes after he was excoriated for publicly giving public officials and then blamed and threatened Californians, tweet partly, "so many lost lives, all because of the bad management of forests".
Yuliya Talmazan contributed