Death toll rises to 40 as California wildfires rage

Death toll rises to 40 as California wildfires rage
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Firefighters continued to battle massive wildfires raging across parts of Northern California as the death toll climbed to 40 on Sunday.

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Winds that had slowed emergency workers earlier in the weekend were expected to die down on Sunday, but fires continued to burn more than 217,000 acres, according to NBC News.

The Los Angeles Times reported that in addition to the 40 people confirmed dead, dozens of people were still missing, including 74 people in Napa county.

Jaime Williams, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told NBC News that the number of evacuees had dropped from 100,000 to below 75,000.

President Trump last week approved a federal disaster declaration after a request for federal assistance from California Gov. Jerry Brown (D). 

State officials said on Sunday they were focusing their efforts on the Nuns fire, which is 30 percent contained, the Los Angeles Times reported.