Devastation as deadly California blaze tallies grim stats

PARADISE, Calif. (AP) — Officials in Northern California released another grim statistic in a wildfire that is achieving heartbreaking records: 29 people have died in and around Paradise, matching the deadliest wildfire in state history.

That brings the death toll from fires this week to 31 statewide. Authorities called in a DNA lab and teams of anthropologists to help identify victims.

More than 220 people remain unaccounted for in Northern California as whipping winds and tinder-dry conditions threaten more areas through the rest of the week.

For some, the scope of the devastation was starting to set in.

Public safety officials toured the Paradise area to begin discussing the recovery process. Much of what makes the city function is gone.

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