Nearly a week after the California wildfires began, the zone containing scattered fires has swollen to an area as wide as 100 miles. The flames have left at least 38 people dead and destroyed at least 5,700 homes and businesses, making them the deadliest and most destructive group of wildfires California has ever seen.
(Via ABC) Rising winds fanned the California wildfires again Saturday, forcing hundreds more people to flee from their homes in the state’s fabled wine country and threatening to undo the efforts of crews who have spent days trying to corral the flames behind firebreaks.
Just a day after firefighters reported making significant progress, the winds kicked up and pushed flames into the hills at the edge of Sonoma, a town of 11,000. About 400 homes were evacuated in Sonoma and a portion of Santa Rosa that included a retirement community that evacuated earlier this week, authorities said.
“Things went to hell last night,” said Dean Vincent Bordigioni, winemaker and proprietor at the Annadel Estate Winery, who awoke at 3 a.m. to see flames erupting over the ridge above his property. “They’ve got a good fight going on.” (read more)
Three more deaths have been confirmed from the wildfires burning in Northern California, bringing the total to 38.
The Napa County Sheriff’s Office announced two more deaths there on Saturday, taking their total to six. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office says the 20th body in the county has been found in the city of Santa Rosa.
Those deaths take the toll to 38 for what was already the deadliest series of fires in California history. It is likely the people were killed soon after the fires broke out nearly a week ago and their bodies were just discovered.
The increased presence of law enforcement officers to help people get out of homes has made the fire areas safer even as new flare-ups occur. (LINK)