Death toll in California fire rises to 23

Death toll in wildfire in northern California rises to 23 after 14 additional bodies found. 110 still considered missing.

Ben Ariel,

California fires
California fires

The death toll in the ferocious wildfire in northern California rose to 23 on Saturday, according to The Associated Press.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said 14 additional bodies were found. The victims have not been identified. Two people were found dead in a wildfire in southern California, bringing the total number of fatalities for the state to 25.

The fire became California's third deadliest since record-keeping began, with the death toll surpassing that from a blaze last year that ravaged the city of Santa Rosa.

An additional search and recovery team on top of the four already on the ground was being brought in to search for remains, Honea said. An anthropology team from California State University, Chico was helping with that effort, he added.

The sheriff's office still has 110 outstanding reports of missing people, Honea said.

Honea added that he's hopeful that more of those missing will be found. The department initially had more than 500 calls about citizens who were unable to reach loved ones.

But they have been able to help locate many, he said.

Huge wildfires also raged in California this past summer, forcing some 40,000 Californians to be evacuated from their homes.

A series of forest fires in northern California last year killed dozens, destroyed thousands of buildings and ravaged hundreds of thousands of acres.