CHICO, California — As the Camp Fire continues to burn, 12 days later, and at 66 percent containment, 77 deaths have been confirmed, with hundreds still unaccounted for.
And with over 151,000 acres burned, the search for the missing is unprecedented.
"We don’t normally have a process to deal with this many unaccounted for individuals," Butte County Sheriff and Coroner Kory Honea told VICE News. But the list has posed several challenges for authorities trying to track everyone down. Issues range from people not knowing they are on the list, to duplicated names due to converged data sets, to even finding remains in all the debris.
While the list of unaccounted people represents an imperfect picture of the missing, it does illustrate the large retirement community in the area. Paradise, the city hardest hit by the fires, was known, in part, as a retirement community, a quiet place for people to get away.
VICE News spent time with Tammie Konicki during her search for her missing 64-year-old mother, who was last seen getting into a car the morning of the fire.
“Hopefully she is somewhere and just doesn’t have a way to get a hold of us,” Konicki said of her mother. “Right now, for me, no news is good news, because no news means she hasn’t been found dead,” she said. “She’s not one of those bodies as of yet.”
This segment originally aired November 19, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.