California wildfires grew only a little overnight


California wildfires continue to grow and spread in wine country taking at least 21 lives.


North Bay fires prompt evacuations, road closuresSheriff's deputies and detectives have made house searches in cold areas, but are not entering hot areas to sift through debris, Giordano said.

At least seven people died in the winemaking region of Sonoma, while two died in neighbouring Napa and another was killed in a blaze further north.

Reports of downed power lines have surfaced throughout the areas affected by wildfires this week, and PG&E urges anyone who encounters one to assume the line is live and stay away from it. All that remained of some neighborhoods are a few blackened chimneys, charred trees and abandoned cars.

The blazes, scorching the earth for more than three days, have destroyed an estimated 3,500 homes and businesses, making them the third deadliest and most destructive blazes in state history.

Destroyed residential neighborhood in Santa Rosa, California on October 11. He knew his was gone.

The sheriff said he expected the death toll to go up.

On Monday I woke to the terrifying smell of smoke. I have someone else's clothes now.

As he surveyed the damage, he marveled how some of his neighbors' homes survived.

"That's one of the prevailing questions I've gotten", Santa Rosa Vice Mayor Jack Tibbetts said Wednesday about the first two days of the fires.

Speaking to NPR's David Greene, Cox said, "Late season fires are always hard, because you're contending with very dry fuel moistures". Additional crewmembers will be coming from Southern California to help with assessing damage to gas service in the fire-ravaged areas.

"We're not focused a whole lot on actual containment", he said. "The long-term trend is more fires, and clearly we're having warmer, dryer weather in the west".

Hundreds of homes in the Fountain Grove area were levelled by flames so hot they melted the glass off of cars and turned aluminium wheels into liquid. And his antiques were gone.

Another Atlas Peak Road resident, Richard Clark, said Tuesday he still hadn't seen the fire's destruction and has no idea what will be left of his home.

People here have had little time to take stock of their losses.

The weather gave firefighters a bit of a respite on Tuesday as cooler temperatures, lower winds and coastal fog enabled them to make headway against the flames.

Speaking late Wednesday, Ken Pimlott, the chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire, called the series of fires "a serious, critical, catastrophic event". He is helping oversee the 8,000 firefighters battling the flames. In Santa Rosa, which saw neighborhoods and swaths of land overrun by fire, a curfew remains in effect from 6:45 7:15 a.m. They say anything from a auto backfire to a thoughtlessly tossed cigarette can bring on an inferno. President Trump has issued a major disaster declaration; the Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing federal disaster assistance to California to bolster state, tribal and local recovery efforts.

And along with that, you have the wind event that came through on Sunday through Northern California.