California wildfires: List of missing passes 600 as hunt for victims continues

After devastating loss of life and property here comes another hit from California wildfires

At least 63 people have been confirmed dead in the Camp Fire, which erupted a week ago in the drought-parched Sierra foothills 175 miles north of San Francisco and now ranks as one of the most lethal single USA wildfires since the turn of the last century. More than 5,000 fire personnel were battling the blaze that started a week ago and has displaced 52,000 people.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said he believes there are people on the list who fled the blaze and don't realize they were reported missing.

"If you look at that list and see your name, or the name of a friend or loved one, please call to let us know", he said.

The Woolsey Fire has razed 98,000 acres (39,660 hectares) and has been 62 percent contained.

Investigators on Thursday collected DNA samples from relatives to help identify victims as hundreds of rescue personel and sniffer dogs worked to locate more victims. He said some of those unaccounted for many never be found.

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Most of the town - almost 12,000 homes and buildings - has been destroyed, and an army of firefighters, many from other states, joined the struggle to contain and suppress the flames. Thousands of survivors are now without homes and living in shelters and tent cities.

In Southern California, where there have been several smaller fires, the Wolsey Fire has been linked to at least three deaths and hundreds of destroyed buildings in the hills around Malibu, west of Los Angeles.

The damage tally continues to increase for the most destructive wildfire in the state's history.

The latest blazes have capped a pair of calamitous wildfire seasons in California that scientists largely attribute to prolonged drought they say is symptomatic of climate change.

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