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THE death toll from a wave of forest fires in California has hit 42 after 13 more bodies were found, officials said today.
The remains were discovered in and around the largely incinerated town of Paradise, but at least 228 people remain missing. Nearly 7,200 structures have been destroyed and another 15,500 are at risk.
More than 300,000 people have been forced to flee their homes across the state, where federal aid should become available to affected residents after President Donald Trump declared a “major disaster” on Monday.
Some bodies were found in gutted cars that had been overrun by the fast-moving fire, as residents scrambled to evacuate overnight.
Many victims are believed to be elderly residents or people with mobility problems who would find evacuation more difficult.
Historically, California’s “wildfire season” started in summer and ran into early autumn, but experts have warned that the risk now exists all year round.
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