The deadliest wildfires in California's history are now "100% contained" after burning for more than two weeks – but heavy rain is set to bring a new risk of flash flooding and mudslides.

At least 85 people have been killed since the devastating fires started on 8 November, while rescuers are searching for hundreds who remain unaccounted for.

The number of missing dropped from 475 to 249 on Sunday after people were found in shelters, hotels or friends' homes.

Many of those found were unaware they were on the missing list, officials said.

Image: Rescuers are searching for nearly 250 missing people

Nearly 14,000 homes were destroyed in the wildfires which have burned nearly 154,000 acres – an area five times the size of San Francisco.

But in a statement on Twitter on Sunday, California's fire department said they were now "100% contained".

Rescuers have a few more days of dry weather to search for missing people before heavy rain is forecast.

Another 2-5in (5-13cm) of rain is expected to drop on the Sierra Nevada foothills between Tuesday and Sunday, renewing fears of flash floods and mudslides, forecasters said.

"The fear is that the rain will drop in intense bursts," meteorologist Brian Hurley said.

"All the vegetation has burned away, and that's a dangerous recipe for mudslides.

Gerard Butler tweeted this photo of his destroyed Malibu home 1:24
Video: Hollywood stars flee deadly California wildfires

Last week, 2-3in (5-8cm) of rain fell, turning the ash from thousands of destroyed homes into slurry and complicating the effort to find bodies

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea has warned that the remains of some victims may never be found.

Strong winds blow embers from burning houses during the Woolsey Fire on November 9, 2018 in Malibu, California 0:36
Video: Crews battle California wildfires

Officials said most of the victims of the fire identified so far have been of retirement age.

The California town of Paradise – which was destroyed by the wildfires – was a popular destination for retired people, with a quarter of its 27,000 residents aged 65 or older.

Investigators have yet to determine the cause of the fire.

US President Donald Trump – who visited Paradise to see the devastation – was mocked for suggesting California should follow the example of Finland and rake forests to prevent wildfires.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto later said he had no recollection of discussing the subject of raking when he met Mr Trump.

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