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Number of missing after California fire dwindles to 49

PARADISE, Calif. (AP) — The number of people listed as missing after Northern California’s catastrophic wildfire has been whittled to 49.

The figure announced Friday night by the Butte County Sheriff’s Office shows authorities have made significant progress in accounting for survivors of the deadliest wildfire in state history.

Two weeks ago, the number of people listed as unaccounted for was 1,300.

The Nov. 8 wildfire all but leveled the town of Paradise and ravaged neighboring communities. Thousands were forced to flee, and in the aftermath many survivors scattered to other towns or cities and did not think to tell authorities or relatives that they were safe.

Anyone who can’t be reached by a friend or relative is put on the list and remains there until tracked down by authorities.

In this Nov. 13, 2018, file photo, search and rescue workers search for human remains at a trailer park burned out from the Camp fire in Paradise, Calif. About three weeks after a fire leveled a Northern California town, confusion remains and officials continue trying to determine who of the those still listed as unaccounted for are really missing, which is not easy. Some families meet frustration in their search while others who escaped the inferno are surprised to find themselves listed as missing. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)