Death toll rises to 56 in California wildfires

Death toll rises to 56 in California wildfires
© Getty

The death toll from the wildfires burning in Northern California has risen to 56 people, authorities announced, making it the deadliest wildfire in a century, while another fire continues to burn in the southern part of the state.

An additional 287 people have been assigned to comb through the rubble for bodies, authorities told The Associated Press, bringing the number of rescuers and searches to over 461.

There have been 22 cadaver dogs brought in to aid in searching for the dead.

ADVERTISEMENT

Police confirmed to the news agency that at least 130 people are still unaccounted for, many of whom are elderly.

More than 8,500 homes have been lost.

Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) on Wednesday spoke with President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorsi sues Mueller for alleged leaks and illegal surveillance Comey: Trump 'certainly close' to being unindicted co-conspirator Trump pushes back on reports that Ayers was first pick for chief of staff MORE, who pledged federal assistance with the fires. It was a shift in tone from when the two he exchanged barbs just days earlier over who was to blame for the fires.

"This is so devastating that I don't really have the words to describe it," Brown said.

Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeTrump attends Army-Navy game Trump is no fan of trophy hunting — will he let giraffes go extinct? Trump admin floats reduced protections for imperiled sage grouse MORE told reporters on Wednesday, "Now is not the time to point fingers. There are lots of reasons these catastrophic fires are happening," he said, pointing to warmer temperatures, dead trees and poor forest management.

Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has said that it is going to take years to rebuild after the destruction.

“The infrastructure is basically a total rebuild at this point,” Long said.