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Death toll in northern California wildfire climbs to 48
November 15,2018   By: Xinhua
PARADISE, the United States, Nov.15,2018-- The raging wildfire in California has left 48 dead as rescuers continue to search for missing residents in and around the town of Paradise, local authorities said Tuesday.
 
An additional six bodies were discovered Tuesday in Paradise, which has been nearly been completely razed by the deadliest fire in the state's history, said Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea at a daily media briefing, adding that all victims were found in their homes.
 
More than 200 still remain missing in the area and the name list would be made public soon, Honea said, adding that recovery teams are identifying victims with "cutting-edge technology" as the bodies are badly burnt.
 
A Rapid DNA Analysis System was set up in the town, said local media, adding that portable devices can identify human genetic materials in hours while sample tests in labs usually take days or weeks.
 
There have been 208 suspicious incidents reported in the evacuation zone, Butte County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday. Of those reports, 18 were linked to looting. Deputies arrested four suspects on Monday.
 
The wildfire scorched 130,000 acres (526.1 square km) with 35 percent contained, according to a Tuesday update from California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. More than 5,600 firefighters are battling the blaze.
 
The Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco on Tuesday warned Chinese citizens to follow the latest development and avoid heading to restricted areas.
 
Many survivors in Chico, a small city with 90,000 residents near Paradise, have been living in shelter centers for five days. Some hoped to return home soon while some wondered if they can restart lives in Paradise in the future.
 
"I haven't been home since the fire started. I expect to go back home as soon as possible. My dog is still there," Cynthia Rowe,a 61-year-old resident of Paradise, told Xinhua. She spent eight hours in reaching Chico after driving through burning wood.
 
"It was terrible," she said. "I had to spend two nights in the camp at the church in Chico, as it was the only place to go."
 
Another resident of Paradise watched her home completely burn down.
 
"It was just one hundred percent devastating," said Tonya Boyd. She had no plans to go back to Paradise again since all her relatives' houses in the town were damaged.
 
"There's nothing left. Everything's just completely destroyed," she said. "We're all gonna look for a place in Chico. I don't want to go too far because we've been here (for) twenty plus years."
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