Death toll rises to 56 in California wildfires

Death toll rises to 56 in California wildfires
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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.

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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 TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report 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 ZinkeInterior gains new watchdog The Hill's Morning Report - Gillibrand drops out as number of debaters shrinks BLM issues final plan for reduced Utah monument 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.