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The death penalty rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

CHICO, California (AP) – North American crews fighting the country's deadliest fire for a century were bracing for strong winds…

CHICO, California (AP) – North American crews fighting the country’s deadliest fire for a century were bracing for strong winds with winds of up to 50 miles per hour, creating the potential to destroy profits they have made to contain a catastrophe that has died at least 76 and smoothed a city.

Although hundreds of seekers aim through the walls of paradise looking for the dead, nearly 1300 people remain unclear for more than a week after the fire was triggered in Butte County, Sheriff Kory Honea announced Saturday night. The authorities emphasized that the long roster does not mean that they believe that all these people are missing.

Honea asked that the fire be evacuated Saturday to review the list of those reported as inaccessible by family and friends and call if they are safe. Deputies have found hundreds of people, but the total numbers continue to grow because they add more names, including those from the chaotic early hours of the disaster, Honea says.

“It’s really very important that you look at the list and call us if you’re on the list,” he said.

The remains of five more people were found Saturday, including four in the secluded city of Paradise and one in nearby Concow, causing the death to 76

Honea said among the dead were Lolene Rios, 56 whose son Jed reluctantly told for KXTV in Sacramento that his mother “had endless love for me”.

President Donald Trump toured the area on Saturday, associated with California’s outgoing and incoming governors, both Democrats who have sharpened barbs with the Republican administration. He also visited Southern California, where firemen made progress on a weapon that revolted through communities west of Los Angeles from Oaks to Malibu, killing three people.

The President promised the full support of the federal government. Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-Elect Gavin Newsom thanked him for coming out.

“We’ve never seen anything like this in California, we’ve never seen anything like this. It’s as totally devastating,” said Trump as he stood in the ruins of paradise.

Rain was forecast for mid week, which could help firemen but also complicate the search for remnants.

Nordkalas Camp Fire has destroyed nearly 10,000 homes and burned 233 square kilometers (603 square kilometers). There are 55 percent.

The fire zone in northern California is to some extent Trump Country, and that enthusiasm was on display as dozens of people cheated and waving flags when his motorcade went.

Kevin Cory, a firearm evacuee who lost his home in paradise, promised Trump to come to a state that is often contrary to the White House.

“I think California has been really horrible to him and the battles. I mean they are right for him,” he said. “It’s back and forth between the state and the birth. It’s not right.”

But for the most part, survivors, some who barely fled and no longer had homes, were too busy packing up the little they had left or seeking help paying close attention to the president’s visit.

Michelle Mack Couch, 49, was waiting to enter a federal emergency handling agency in Chico City. She needed a hiker for her older mother and threw her car.

“Let’s hope he gets some help,” said Couch, who voted for Trump and whose apartment house burned down last week. But as far as taking the time to watch the president, she wryly said: “We have no TV anymore.”

Honea expressed the hope that Trump’s visit would help with recovery, says the tour of the Republican president and California’s Democratic leaders “signals a spirit of cooperation here that ultimately favors this society and paves the way for recovery.”

In southern California, Trump also met briefly at an airport hanger with families and first respondents who were touched by the Borderline Bar & Grill photograph in the thousand Oaks more than a week ago.

Trump called the shot of a country musician who left 12 dead, “a horrible, horrible event.”


Associated Press writer Jonathan Lemyr in Paradise, California and Janie Har and Daisy P. Nguyen of San Francisco contributed to this report.

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