Fire death toll hits 63; sheriff says hundreds still missing

CHICO, Calif. (AP) — At least 63 are now dead from a massive Northern California wildfire, and officials say they have a missing persons list with 631 names on it in an ever-evolving accounting of the missing.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea says many may be safe, but he’s making the list public so people can let officials know they’re safe.

Meanwhile, hundreds of fire refugees are living in tents and makeshift shelters.

A Walmart parking lot and adjacent field in Chico have been turned into a living space for some of the 52,000 evacuees.

On Thursday, residents heard that efforts are being made to phase out the camp by Sunday.

It’s unclear what will happen to people who don’t leave by then, but a Chico spokeswoman says the city doesn’t plan to kick them out.