As the number of fatalities continues to rise in the most deadly fire in California's history, the sheriff of the Northern California district where the fire is still furious said on Friday that more than 1,000 people are still missing, an impressive rise from previous lists.
As of Friday, 71 people died in the fire, which traveled through the city of Paradise and its environs on November 8. About 500 experts and more than 20 body dogs scour the hills and remains of the forest for human remains.
The new list of the missing, which shocked even officials who surveyed the destruction and expected the worst, raised questions about who was on the list and how it was conducted.
A new list of missing names had hundreds of names rather than a previously published list. Why has it grown so dramatically?
Sheriff Kory to Honea of Bot County said his team had corrected the list by adding every person described as missing any 911 call they had received since the fire began, including in alarmed moments when the first came down on the area.
"I'm giving you the best information I have now," said the sheriff. "We are not going to wait until the completion will fail the progress."
The sheriff said on Friday that officials had been responsible for 330 people on a previous list of people who were unaccounted for, but overall still grew on Friday with more names added.
"It's a dynamic list," said Sheriff Fraud. "It will change both up and down every day."
Why put people on the list if the sheriff is not sure they are actually missing?
The list includes people who do not know they reported missing. Fraud Sheriff said his hope was that people were safe, mistakenly erroneous, checking the list and alerting the sheriff's office.
"We find there are a lot of people who do not know we're looking for them," the sheriff said. "That's why we're publishing this list."
Is there a pattern in people listed as lacking?
Many of them are older. Of the 246 people for whom ages have been gained, more than 200 were over the age of 60. The youngest on the list is 20 and the oldest is 101.
Erik Reinbold, the police chief in the city of Aden, who was hit by the fire, said A new list stressed how many older people were trapped by the fire.
"Like any community, we had older people and some gave up driving or could not drive," Reinbold said. "There are a number of reasons people can not evacuate on their own."
How reliable is the list?
Like escape from the fire itself, the search for the missing was sometimes chaotic. An earlier list published by the sheriff's office included five people with the ages listed at the age of 119. The five are still on the missing list but their age has been removed. At least five names appear twice and there are question marks next to several people.
Is anyone on the list found?
Searching through Facebook seems to indicate that at least a dozen people who survived the fire are on the missing list.
David and Frances Neil are listed as lacking in a blunt district list, but the couple's bride, Demnick Neil, said they were "safe and family."
When she ran the New York Times, Ms. Neil said she was not aware that the couple was included in the blunt county list. "A lot of lists are going around," she said. "It's hard to follow."
The Neil family's experience has been erroneously reported as lacking, underscoring the potential drawbacks of the system: they are sure they have no incentive to check the list and help correct it.
Do officials have any estimates of what the final death rate might be?
California had never seen such fire. Law enforcement are very reluctant to guess.
Chef Reinbold said he had no way of predicting the final numbers. But he prays that it is not close to the hundreds of people on the list: "No one wants this number to be high."