Death toll rises to 56 in California wildfire

CHICO, Calif. — Authorities have reported eight more fatalities from a blaze in Northern California, bringing the total number of fatalities so far to 56 in the deadliest wildfire in state history.

The announcement came Wednesday after authorities ramped up the search for more victims and said that 130 people were still unaccounted for.

Authorities said the blaze has grown in size to 215 square miles and destroyed nearly 9,000 homes.

At an evening news conference, officials said that more than 5,000 fire personnel were battling the blaze that was now 35 percent contained.

The fire that started last Thursday has displaced 52,000 people and incinerated the town of Paradise.

Officials said that 1,385 people were being housed in shelters.