Monday, 23 October, 2017

Death toll rises to 23 in NorCal wildfires; hundreds still missing

13 dead as wildfires torch California wine country, state of emergency declared in eight counties California fires MAP: Thousands flee and more evacuated as wildfires DESTROY California
Bennie Garza | 12 October, 2017, 18:59

Rietman is only one of many who have lost their homes and belongings to the devastating firestorm reigning terror on Northern California's North Bay area. The fire had burned 28,000 acres as of Wednesday morning, according to Cal Fire.

He said: "All these fires are under investigation".

It is the deadliest single California wildfire since 2003, when the so-called Cedar fire killed 15 people in San Diego, according to state data.

Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano put the number of people unaccounted for in the hard-hit county at 285 and said officers were starting limited searches in the "cold zones" they could reach.

In posting the video, the sheriff's department told residents, "This is but one moment in a series of moments that will end up defining the strength of our community through what will be a pinnacle moment in Sonoma County history".

On Wednesday, O'Brien and his crew were stomping out flare-ups, hoping to keep the fire from creating more damage. This made it easier for the flames to spread and also knocked down power lines where the fires started. And along with that, you have the wind event that came through on Sunday through Northern California.

High-speed winds have played a role in the fires. "Here we have interpretation of official comments provided by a woman who can read sign language for the deaf relayed to people whose hearing is okay", Howard wrote.

The McClellan Reload Base, an airstrip that is used to support aerial firefighting efforts, "pumped over 266,000 gallons of fire retardant Monday. Shattering the previous record", says Cal Fire - the shortened name for the state of Forestry and Fire Protection agency.

"We get calls and people searching for lost folks and they're not lost, they're just staying with somebody and we don't know where it is", said Napa County Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht.

Grabow's name was among dozens written on a dry erase board at the Finley Community Center in Santa Rosa, which the Red Cross had turned into an evacuation center with dormitories, cold showers and three meals a day. In some cases, the utility has purposefully cut power to prevent lines from endangering first responders.

Authorities in the cities of Anaheim, which includes Anaheim Hills, and Orange ordered hundreds of residents to evacuate.

"That's very bad", resident Nick Hinman said when a deputy sheriff warned him that the driving winds could shift the wildfires toward the town of Sonoma proper, where 11,000 people live.

California has declared a state of emergency, and federal aid is being given to the regions affected by this tragedy. At least 3,500 homes, wineries, camps, high schools, resorts and other iconic structures have been destroyed. Still, they said it was a relief to see their house spared. "Please help me find her".

"They're not reporting anything. They're not telling us, your street from here to here is gone", she said. Larson said he wished he had grabbed the gun as he left.

The Department of Homeland Security has said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency immediately agreed to the state's request for federal funds to help fight numerous fires.

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