3 killed in massive California wildfire

Three people were killed due to a massive wildfire in California’s Butte County, authorities said.

In a statement on Wednesday, Butte County sheriff Kory Honea said that two people had been found dead at one location and the third somewhere else, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to local media reports, one of the victims was found in a car and according to authorities, had been trying to escape.

The identities of the victims have not been released.

Sheriff Honea also said that 12 people are still missing after evacuations were ordered on Tuesday night, a CBC Sacramento news reported.

So far, Butte County Sheriff’s Office received 85 missing person reports or requests for welfare checks.

The wildfire northeast of San Francisco has been burning for more than three weeks, forcing thousands to leave their homes and threatening other structures.

Stoked by high winds, it has so far burnt a 25-mile path through mountainous terrain and parched foothills.

The massive blaze has even threatened the town of Paradise that was devastated just two years ago by the deadliest wildfire in California’s history.

The North Complex fire was one of more than two dozen in the state, including three of the five largest ever as wildfires burned across parts of the West amid gusty, dry conditions.

Since mid August, fires in California have killed eight people, destroyed more than 3,600 structures, burned old growth redwoods, charred chaparral and forced evacuations in communities near the coast, in wine country and along the Sierra Nevada.