The Camp Fire in California devastated the town of Paradise and the death toll keeps mounting as new bodies or remnants keep turning up. Those who have managed to escape are now trying to find shelter in order to begin a new phase in their lives. Some lucky ones have already found temporary shelters while others have moved in with relatives.

Sky News reports Butte County Sheriff's Office has indicated the revised official list of missing persons in the wildfire as 631. Their whereabouts and fate remain unknown and the figure is considerably more than the earlier figure of 297.

The extent of damage was beyond imagination and the situation was chaotic, hence the confusion. Sheriff Kory Honea explained to the media that - "I want you to understand that the chaos we were dealing with was extraordinary."

Massive rescue operation under way

In the opinion of the authorities, the high number of fatalities could be because of high-speed flames fanned by strong winds. Paradise is a relatively small town with a population of 27,000 and the suddenness of the wildfire took them by surprise.

They had very little reaction time. Teams of cadaver dogs are helping the search operations while thousands of firefighters are battling the blaze.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) has provided some tentative figures for losses. It seems the wildfire destroyed 8,700 homes and more than 15,000 buildings stand threatened.

The Camp Fire spread to nearly 140,000 acres and was contained to the extent of 40%.

White House informs that president Donald Trump will visit California on Saturday and interact with those who are affected. The US president had initially blamed the state officials for the wildfire. He even threatened to withhold federal payments.

However, there seems to be a change in his perception.

Cause of the fire still not known

According to The Globe and Mail, the death toll in the California wildfire is 63 with more than 600 missing. Wildfires are not new to California but this one erupted a week ago in the drought-parched Sierra foothills. It is now one of the most lethal single U.S. wildfires since the turn of the century.

There could be a number of factors responsible for the high death toll. Some of these are the wind-driven flames, aggravated because of the scrub and trees in its path. Many of the survivors are now moving in temporarily with friends or relatives or trying to go to American Red Cross shelters.

Butte County Sheriff Honea has explained that the list of missing persons will keep fluctuating depending on the availability of more information. The cause of the wildfire is under investigation. There are reports from a couple of electric utilities about equipment problems near the blazes around the same time and experts are examining these.