Fires Rage Across Northern California: At Least 17 Dead

At least 17 people have died because of raging fires in Northern California around the area’s wine country. Most of the dead were in Sonoma County, where the Tubbs fire roared over huge areas of Santa Rosa. Eleven people died in Sonoma County, two people have died in Napa County, three in Mendocino County and one in Yuba County, according to Cal Fire officials.

20,000 people have been forced to leave their homes as a result of fires over 115,000 acres plaguing Nevada, Yuba, Sonoma and Napa counties. Over 150 people are missing in Sonoma County; 45 others have been found. Over 2,000 homes and businesses have been destroyed in the fires.

The fires may burgeon on Wednesday, as dry, windy conditions are expected to prevail, with winds of up to 50 mph and only 10% humidity expected. Lynne Tolmachoff, spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, stated, "The potential for new fires that could grow exponentially as these fires did in such a short time period is there.”

Napa Valley Vintners acknowledged that at least four wineries had suffered "total or very significant losses.”

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant stated, “Many of these fires, it’s going to take several more days, even potentially more weeks, before we have full containment.”

Vice President Mike Pence said President Trump has approved a "major disaster declaration" for California. California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in several northern counties and in Orange County in Southern California, where the Canyon Fire 2 raged, according to fire spokesman Thanh Nguyen.

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