(KGTV) — The number of those missing following the deadly Camp Fire in Northern California has dwindled to just under 50 people, the Butte County Sheriff's Department announced Friday.
More than three weeks after the deadliest wildfire in California's history ignited, officials have seen the number of those missing dive from more than 1,100 to 49 people.
Many forced to evacuate due to the fire fled to other towns or cities and did not tell relatives or authorities they were safe, ballooning the initial number of missing persons. The department reported that 3,097 people had been accounted so far.
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The death toll from the fire remains at 88 people killed, with 42 tentatively identified and 41 positively identified.
The Camp Fire erupted on Nov. 8, scorching more than 153,000 acres and destroying the town of Paradise, Calif., before it was fully contained Nov. 25. The fire destroyed nearly 14,000 homes, 514 businesses and 4,265 other buildings.
Search and rescue teams have been combing through towns to find remains of those missing. The sheriff's office has been maintaining a public list of missing people and offering to swab the cheeks of immediate relatives to help identify those lost in the fire.