475 people still unaccounted for as Camp Fire is almost contained

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After burning for over two weeks, killing dozens and destroying thousands of homes, the Northern California fire has been fully contained authorities confirmed on Sunday.

"Every penny matters for the victims who lost everything in the Camp Fire", which has killed at least 85 people and destroyed more than 13,972 residences, 528 commercial structures and 4,293 other buildings, she said.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea has warned that the remains of some victims may never be found.

Authorities have refrained from publicly estimating how numerous missing might have perished, but some who lived through the blaze have said the death toll will keep rising.

The fire began November 8 in the parched Sierra Nevada foothills and quickly spread across 240 square miles (620 square kilometers), destroying most of Paradise in a day.

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The Camp Fire has burned through more than 153,000 acres, a charred swath of land larger than Chicago. Despite the inclement weather, more than 800 volunteers searched for remains on Thanksgiving and again Friday, two weeks after flames swept through the Sierra Nevada foothills, authorities said.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the Camp fire had been surrounded by firefighters following several days of rain in and around the devastated town of Paradise.

About 17,000 people have registered with the federal disaster agency, which will look at insurance coverage, assets and other factors to determine how much assistance they are eligible for, Mansell said. It caused mass destruction and death in the Butte County communities of Paradise, Concow and Magalia.

The city of Paradise was a popular destination for retirees, with people ages 65 or older accounting for a quarter of its 27,000 residents. He said while the rain helped douse some of the fire and made things easier for the dogs helping out, it also complicated search efforts. He did not say Paradise should avoid rebuilding, noting the town has expanded evacuation routes and would be safer with more aggressive efforts to cut thin forests and built vegetation-free fire breaks that could stop advancing flames.

Rains over the last three days helped the firefighters contain the blaze, but they were destructive to homes that have been scorched, and may pose a danger to residents that return home.

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