A vintage car rests among debris in Paradise, Calif. (Noah Berger/AP)

The worst wildfire California has ever seen has destroyed the once-lush forest town of Paradise, leaving an unfathomable trail of death and destruction in its wake.

By Wednesday evening, 56 people had been confirmed killed by the Camp Fire, making it the deadliest wildfire in state history. Dozens of people are still missing, so authorities expect that the death toll will continue to rise. The fire also destroyed nearly 7,000 structures, most of them homes. No California wildfire has ever done more damage.

The Camp Fire started on Nov. 8 near Pulga, a small community surrounded by the Plumas National Forest. High winds and dry conditions sent the flames raging through Paradise, a city of 27,000 nearly 90 miles north of Sacramento.

Now, the city is in ruins, leaving most residents who survived without homes and businesses, a community that has all but disappeared.

One fire official said it resembled “Armageddon."

A resident said the devastation “looked like Iraq.”

“Ninety-five percent of the town is gone,” Paradise council member Michael Zuccolillo told the San Francisco Chronicle. “The remaining 5 percent of buildings are barely standing. I felt like I was living in a bad dream. It was unrecognizable. I had to keep asking, ‘Where are we?’ All the landmarks are gone. Block by block, nothing. Anybody who had a house in Paradise probably doesn’t anymore.”


Members of the California Army National Guard search a property for human remains in Paradise, Calif. (John Locher/AP)

Vehicles and homes destroyed by the Camp Fire line a development on Edgewood Lane in Paradise, Calif. (Noah Berger/AP)

Roseville firefighters put out hotspots in Paradise, Calif. (Mason Trinca for The Washington Post)

Figurines rest atop a scorched car on Pearson Road in Paradise, Calif. (Noah Berger/AP)

A California license plate partially buried in a pile of ash at a burned residence in Paradise, Calif. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

A home left in ruins in Paradise, Calif. (Sharon Bernstein/Reuters)

Chris and Nancy Brown among the remains of their home in Paradise, Calif. (Noah Berger/AP)

A neighborhood decimated by the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif. (Mason Trinca for The Washington Post)

A deer stands amid the remains of a burned home. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

A branch from a burned tree crashed through the roof of a business in downtown Paradise, Calif. (Peter DaSilva/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

A burned-out business in downtown Paradise, Calif. (Peter DaSilva/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

A burned business in Paradise, Calif. (Peter DaSilva/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

A few untouched cafe tables and umbrellas stand idle at Mamma Celeste's Gastropub and Pizzeria in Paradise, Calif. (Sharon Bernstein/Reuters)

Butte County Search and Rescue worker Noelle Francis, left, and search dog Spinner at Skyway Villa Mobile Home and RV Park in Paradise, Calif. (Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee/AP)

Anthropology students observe as human remains are recovered in Paradise, Calif. (John Locher/AP)

Sheriff's deputies recover the remains of a victim in Paradise, Calif. (Noah Berger/AP)

Cathy Fallon pets her dog Shiloh at their home in Paradise, Calif. (John Locher/AP)

Burned-out vehicles in Paradise, Calif. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

A torched neighborhood in Paradise, Calif. (Mason Trinca for The Washington Post)

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Death toll rises to 42 in California’s Camp Fire, making it the deadliest wildfire ever in the state