The Latest on California’s wildfires (all times local):

9 a.m.

Smoke and haze from wildfires hovers over Russian Hill Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Smoke and haze from wildfires hovers over Russian Hill Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Fire officials say firefighters have gained ground against a Northern California wildfire that killed at least 79 people.

The California The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Tuesday that the fire is now 70 percent contained. That’s up from 66 percent Monday morning. The blaze’s size remained at 236 square miles (611 square kilometers).

A ferryboat and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge are obscured due to smoke and haze from wildfires Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
A ferryboat and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge are obscured due to smoke and haze from wildfires Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

The gains come ahead of rain forecast for the region starting Wednesday that is expected to last through the Thanksgiving weekend.

This combination photo of satellite images provided by DigitalGlobe shows a neighborhood in the northern California town of Paradise before a wildfire on Sept. 10, 2018, left, and after the fire on Nov. 17, 2018. Desperate families posted photos and messages on social media and at shelters in hopes of finding missing loved ones, many of them elderly, nearly two weeks after the wildfire known as the Camp Fire. (DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company via AP)
This combination photo of satellite images provided by DigitalGlobe shows a neighborhood in the northern California town of Paradise before a wildfire on Sept. 10, 2018, left, and after the fire on Nov. 17, 2018. Desperate families posted photos and messages on social media and at shelters in hopes of finding missing loved ones, many of them elderly, nearly two weeks after the wildfire known as the Camp Fire. (DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company via AP)

The National Weather Service has issue and flash flood watch for wildfire-scarred areas.

It says newly burned areas in and around Paradise are prone to downhill ash and debris flows.

CORRECTS THE DATE TO NOV. 18, 2018, NOT SEPT. 10 - This Nov. 18, 2018, satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows part of Magalia, situated around Magalia Reservoir, center right, north of Paradise in northern California after a wildfire. Desperate families posted photos and messages on social media and at shelters in hopes of finding missing loved ones, many of them elderly, nearly two weeks after the wildfire known as the Camp Fire. (DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company via AP)
CORRECTS THE DATE TO NOV. 18, 2018, NOT SEPT. 10 – This Nov. 18, 2018, satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows part of Magalia, situated around Magalia Reservoir, center right, north of Paradise in northern California after a wildfire. Desperate families posted photos and messages on social media and at shelters in hopes of finding missing loved ones, many of them elderly, nearly two weeks after the wildfire known as the Camp Fire. (DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company via AP)

Officials say they worry rain could complicate the efforts of the crews searching for human remains by washing away signs of the dead or turning the dusty debris into a thick paste.

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Paradise's Suzanne Wallis readies to smoke a cigarette after receiving initial paperwork from the FEMA station set up inside of a former Sears store at the Chico Mall. Wallis lost her home to the Camp Fire but is grateful that she survived.(Elias Funez/The Union via AP)
Paradise’s Suzanne Wallis readies to smoke a cigarette after receiving initial paperwork from the FEMA station set up inside of a former Sears store at the Chico Mall. Wallis lost her home to the Camp Fire but is grateful that she survived.(Elias Funez/The Union via AP)

12 a.m.

Nearly two weeks after a Northern California wildfire destroyed nearly 12,000 homes, hundreds of families, many with children, continue to live in shopping mall parking lots. (Nov. 19)
Nearly two weeks after a Northern California wildfire destroyed nearly 12,000 homes, hundreds of families, many with children, continue to live in shopping mall parking lots. (Nov. 19)

With 79 people killed in the nation’s deadliest wildfire in at least a century, there are still nearly 700 names on the list of those unaccounted for. While it’s down from nearly 1,000 the day before, it is inexact, progress has been slow, and the many days of uncertainty are adding to the stress.

More than a dozen people are marked as “unknowns,” without first or last names. In some cases, names are listed twice or more times under different spellings. Others are confirmed dead, and their names simply haven’t been taken off yet.

Satellite shows N California wildfire destruction
Satellite shows N California wildfire destruction

Survivors and relatives of those caught in the fire in Northern California are using social media to get the word out. In some cases, they post that their loved ones were safe. In others, they plead for help.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea has said he released the rough and incomplete list in hopes that people would contact authorities to say they are OK. He has called it raw data compiled from phone calls, emails and other reports.

Source: The Associated Press

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