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Death toll rises to 40 people in California wildfires

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The massive wildfires sweeping across northern California have killed at least 40 people and damaged thousands of homes.

Officials have recovered some of the burned bodies left by the wildfires that began Sunday night.

"Some of them are merely ashes and bones," Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano said at a Thursday press conference, according to CNN. "And we may never get truly confirmative identification on ashes. When you're cremated, you can't get an ID."

Before and after of the California wildfires
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Out of nearly 1,000 missing people reported since the fires began, at least 600 people have been safely located, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said on Thursday.

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Authorities said 17 people died in Sonoma County, eight people died in Mendocino County, and at least four in Yuba County and two in Napa County. The wildfires have also destroyed 2,834 homes in the city of Santa Rosa.

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