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Number of missing doubles in Northern California's Camp Fire

Image: TOPSHOT-US-FIRE-environment-CALIFORNIA-WEATHER
A burned neighborhood in Paradise, California, on Thursday. Copyright Josh Edelson AFP - Getty Images
Copyright Josh Edelson AFP - Getty Images
By Alex Johnson with NBC News U.S. News
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The number of missing people continues to skyrocket, rising from 297 to 631 on Thursday night.

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The number of people unaccounted for in the Camp Fire zone of Northern California more than doubled on Thursday as authorities said the death toll in the deadliest wildfire in California history rose by seven, to 63.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea, who provided the updated figures at a news conference on Thursday night, said information continued to come in rapidly and was likely to change at any time.

The Camp Fire, which ignited Nov. 8 in Butte County, continued to grow slowly, reaching 140,000 acres on Thursday, with containment reported at 40 percent.

The number of missing people continues to skyrocket, rising from 297 on Wednesday night to 631 on Thursday night, Honea said.

The number of structures that have been destroyed stood at 11,862, including 9,700 single-family homes — about 1,000 than were reported on Wednesday.

Offshore winds drove choking smoke into the San Francisco Bay Area, said Kristine Roselius, a spokeswoman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Bay Area public schools planned to close Friday.

No official cause for the fire has been determined, but Pacific Gas & Electric said in a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week that its equipment may have sparked the blaze.

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