California wildfires: 65 confirmed dead and more than SIX HUNDRED people missing

The number of people missing after huge wildfires swept through parts of California has risen sharply to more than 600.

The town of Paradise – which has a population of 27,000 – has been decimated by the inferno which has been fanned by strong winds.

Paradise, California

Paradise, California

Thousands of firefighters are tackling this fire and a number of other large fires across the state.

So far 65 people have been confirmed dead and in the last few hours the number of those missing has been revised upwards to 631.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told journalists: “"I want you to understand that the chaos we were dealing with was extraordinary.”

Authorities have said the number of casualties is down to the sheer speed at which the fire swept through the town.

President Donald Trump is set to visit California this weekend to meet people caught up in the disaster.