Paradise — US National Guard troops scoured the ruins of the town of Paradise on Thursday for any sign of 130 people still missing in California’s deadliest wildfire on record as authorities said the death toll had risen to 56. Camp Fire blaze obliterated the Sierra foothills town of Paradise, once home to 27,000 people, last Thursday. Most of those still missing in and around town, which lies about 280km north of San Francisco, are above the age of 65. The surface area of the fire had grown to 55,000ha by Wednesday evening, even as diminished winds and rising humidity helped firefighters shore up containment lines around more than a third of the perimeter. Still, the ghostly expanse of empty lots covered in ash and strewn with twisted wreckage and debris made a strong impression on governor Jerry Brown, US interior secretary Ryan Zinke and other officials who toured the devastation on Wednesday. “This is one of the worst disasters I’ve seen in my career, hands down,” Brock Long, he...

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