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The sheriff on Saturday emphasized that authorities were largely relying on the public's cooperation to determine who on the list of missing persons is alive.

Even as hundreds of searchers sift through the rubble in the town of Paradise looking for the dead, almost 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire sparked in Butte County, Sheriff Kory Honea announced Saturday night.

The outbreak of the Camp Fire coincided with a series of smaller blazes in southern California, most notably the Woolsey Fire, which is linked to three fatalities and has destroyed at least 500 structures near the Malibu coast west of Los Angeles.

Already, more than 1,100 people are bunking at shelters in the area, according to the Red Cross, and countless more are staying with friends and family.

Hundreds of evacuees were being housed in 14 emergency shelters set up in churches, schools and community centres around the region, with more than 46,000 people remaining under evacuation orders, authorities said.

The fire zone in Northern California is to some extent Trump country.

Asked after a briefing on the fire from federal and state officials if the state should have done a better job, Trump simply replied: "A lot of things have been learned".

US President Donald Trump talks with Gov. -elect Gavin Newsom, left, and as California Gov.

"He's going to get these guys, and no pun intended, get a fire under them", he said, referring to state officials in California.

Mr Trump has blamed the recent spate of fires on forest mismanagement, and he said he discussed the issue with Mr Brown and Mr Newsom on the ride into Paradise.

The Camp Fire has already killed 76 people, though numerous victims haven't been identified.

Those are areas where undeveloped woodland and rural communities are adjacent.

The fire is among the deadliest to have hit the United States over the last century.

He said: "Managing the forest is part of it".

Trump told reporters in Paradise that he was stunned by the "total devastation" of the area.

We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World. "Hopefully this will be the last of these, because it was a really, really bad one".

To see what's happened here, nobody ever thought this could have happened.

Roslyn Roberts, 73, who was forced from her home in Paradise, said she voted for Trump but disagrees with him.

"I think everybody's seen the light", Trump said.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for California through Sunday as humidity drops and wind gusts could get up to 40 miles per hour in the Camp Fire zone.

The death toll of the Camp Fire, now at 76, has climbed steadily as a team of more than 500 specialists searches for human remains.

Smoke from the fire forced the closure of public schools in San Francisco on Friday and the shutdown of the city's iconic cable cars as the Air Quality Index soared to 271, comparable to Dhaka, Bangladesh and worse than Kolkata, India.

Low humidity, warm winds, and dry ground after a rain-free month have produced a prime fire-spreading environment.

Though many might welcome the fire-suppressing power of heavy rain, rainfall in the wake of bushfire exposes the damaged soil surface to the risk of mudslides.

But Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea acknowledged that the list was "dynamic" and could easily contain duplicate names and unreliable spellings of names.

"I don't think it's appropriate for any of us to sit and speculate about what the future holds", he said. His grasp of forests was shaky at times, at one point invoking fire prevention efforts in Finland - it has a very different climate than California - as an example for the Golden State to follow.

Brian Rice, president of the California Professional Firefighters, said Trump's statement attacking California management and threatening to pull funding was "ill-informed, ill-timed and demeaning", adding that almost 60% of California's forests are under federal management.