People hugged and shed tears as Pastor Jesse Kearns recited a prayer for first responders: "We ask for continued strength as they are growing tired right now".
At an unofficial encampment next to a Walmart store in Chico, many were packing up to find another temporary place to sleep after being told to leave by Sunday.
The sheriff spoke after President Donald Trump visited Paradise, the small community that was home to almost 27,000 people in the Sierra foothills, 280km north of San Francisco, before being all but consumed by the blaze.
"Let's hope he gets us some help", said Couch, who voted for Trump and whose house was among those burned down last week.
It was all of course a nod to his suggestion simply raking the forests in California could have prevented the loss of lives.
"And yeah, managing that pine litter adjacent to our homes and buildings is super important ... but the reality is, to manage every little bit of fuel with a rake is not practical."
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As hundreds of rescue workers sifted through the rubble in the affected areas, the remains of five more people were found on Saturday, including four in the decimated town of Paradise and one in nearby Concow.
The Finnish president said he told Trump that "Finland is a country covered by forests, but we also have a good surveillance system and network" in case of wildfires. He told a local newspaper that he had briefed Trump on Finland's efforts to surveil and care for its forests, the Associated Press wrote, "but said he can't recall anything being mentioned on raking".
Trump initially drew criticism for a tweet appearing to blame California's forest management for the blazes and even threatening to withdraw federal funds if the state did not make unspecified changes.
In his first comments about the California disaster on Twitter, rather than offering condolences, the President threatened to withdraw federal payments and blamed the state's "gross mismanagement" for the fires. "Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!"
Adding to the fire's devastating human impact, winds have been blowing the toxic smoke west, directly into the highly populated Sacramento region and Bay Area.
A suit filed in San Francisco on Tuesday alleged that PG&E Corp. was liable for the Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise. But two electric utilities have said they sustained equipment problems close to the origins of the blazes around the time they were reported.