PARADISE, Calif. (AP) – Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea says his department has reports of 110 people still missing in a massive Northern California wildfire that has scorched 164 square miles (425 square kilometers).
Honea says he’s hopeful that more of those missing people will be located. The department initially had more than 500 calls about citizens who were unable to reach loved ones.
But he says they’ve been able to help locate many.
Next he says sheriff’s officials will be cross-checking their list with official shelters to search for the remaining missing.
Honea said Saturday that 23 people have died in the fire near Paradise, about 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco. Two bodies were also found in the Woolsey Fire area in Southern California.
Honea says he will add another coroner’s team to help find bodies in burned areas, and he ordered a DNA lab truck to assist in identifying human remains.
He said in some cases, investigators have only found bones or bone fragments. They are receiving expertise from anthropologists from nearby California State University, Chico.
Honea said 14 bodies were recovered Saturday, bringing the death toll to 25 for both fires. The fire north of Sacramento has destroyed more than 6,700 structures and driven more than 52,000 people from their homes.
A cross is among the rubble of the Our Savior Lutheran Church Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. The church was destroyed by a wildfire that swept through the area Thursday. Authorities have confirmed that at least six people have died in the fire that has consumed more than 70,000 acres and destroyed at least 2,000 structures. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
A scorched vehicle sits parked at a used car dealership after a wildfire burned through Paradise, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
A Sonoma Valley firefighter inspects burned out cars to make sure they are clear of human remains, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Cathy Fallon reacts as she stands near the charred remains of her home, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. “I’ll be darned if I’m going to let those horses burn in the fire,” said Fallon, who stayed on her property to protect her 14 horses, all of which survived. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A California Highway Patrol vehicle passes a vehicle Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, destroyed by a wildfire in Paradise, Calif. The wind-whipped fires have destroyed blocks of homes and other property in the Northern California town of Paradise. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Three cars destroyed by a wildfire sit at a burned out home Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. Authorities have confirmed that at least six people have died in the fire that has consumed more than 70,000 acres and destroyed at least 2,000 structures. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
This shortwave infrared (SWIR) satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows an area around Concow Reservoir, center, surrounded by active fires including in and around Magalia community, left, in northern California on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. SWIR imagery can penetrate smoke and detect fires, according to DigitalGlobe. Healthy vegetation appears blue. Burned areas appear orange/yellow and active fire lines glow. (DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company via AP)
Sonoma Valley firefighters inspect burned out cars to make sure they are clear of human remains following a fire through a neighborhood, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/John Locher)
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