California Wildfires Blamed For 17 Deaths; High Winds Forecast

California Wildfires Blamed For 17 Deaths; High Winds Forecast”

A deputy of the Sonoma County Sheriff department captured the dashcam footage on Franz Valley Road.

"These are all fires that were in areas that are populated, and 95% of the fires in our state are started by people" in some way, he said, downplaying the chances that lightning may have played a role.

Sonoma County is receiving help from many law enforcement and fire agencies, Giordano said.

I am beyond proud to call Santa Rosa my home.

Maj. Gen. David Baldwin of the California National Guard says 242 soldiers and airmen are assisting in responding to the fires in the two counties.

After a day of cooler weather and calmer winds, officials say low moisture and risky gusty winds will return to the region Wednesday afternoon, complicating firefighters' efforts. She says they fled their new house after neighbors walked the streets and knocked on doors, telling people the fire was coming. "Hopefully, the answer is yes".

"We can only get so many places and we have only so many people to work on so many things", he said.

The sun rises through a cloud of smoke after a wildfire swept through the area in Sonoma County.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in several northern counties, as well as in Orange County in Southern California, where a fire in Anaheim destroyed 15 structures and damaged 12.

More than 122,000 acres have burned in more than a dozen fires in the state. Some 4,000 people are battling the fires, including crews from Nevada and the U.S. Forest Service.

"It's insane how in just a few hours a place I've recognized all my life I can't recognize", he said at a roadside food stop in the town of Sonoma.

October has generally been the most destructive time of year for California wildfires, but it is unusual to have so many fires take off at the same time.

In April, the California Public Utilities Commission also fined PG&E $8.3 million for failing to maintain a power line that sparked a 22-day Butte Fire in Amador County in 2015, which destroyed 549 homes, charred 70,868 acres and killed two people.

"We're not out of the woods and we're not going to be out of the woods for a great number of days to come", Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), told a news conference.

Mr Pimlott said 73 helicopters, 30 air tankers and almost 8,000 firefighters were now battling the blazes. "Nor should we", Hill said.

How many people were missing was unclear, and officials said the lists could include duplicated names and people who are safe but haven't told anyone, whether because of the general confusion or because cellphone service is out across wide areas.

Santa Rosa police on Tuesday issued an urgent evacuation warning for anyone remaining in the Oakmont neighborhood.

Shelters and evacuation centers are set up across the area.

"The sun is a pale yellow, that's how thick the smoke is", he said, adding that ash was floating in the air from one of the fires, which he estimated is about 50 kilometres away. Social media flooded with photographs and videos of the neighborhoods that I once knew, now leveled and reduced to rubble.

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