Wildfires tear through California wine country; 10 dead, thousands evacuated

Posted on: October 9th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — At least 10 people have died in raging wildfires across California.

Seventeen fires are burning across California, with flames fueled by strong winds. Nearly 90,000 acres are ablaze. The fires have destroyed at least 1,500 structures and forced the evacuation of 20,000 residents.

In Anaheim, hundreds of firefighters have mobilized to fight a blaze burning over an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 acres. Thousands of residents are impacted by the flames.

Ken Pimlott, the director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said the fires started around 10 p.m. local time Sunday.

One person died in Mendocino County, while the second perished in Santa Rosa.

With the flames sweeping through entire communities, some area hospitals have been evacuated. Evacuations were also issued for surrounding counties that are under threat, according to the Napa Valley Sheriff’s Office.

Pimlett said firefighters are concentrating on saving lives rather than battling the blazes.

The National Weather Service reported strong winds in the San Francisco Bay area, giving the inferno more life as it tears through businesses and homes.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the counties most at risk. The warning means conditions are critical.

Strong winds, relatively low humidity and warm temperatures can lead to extreme weather, according to the National Weather Service.

The Cal Fire service has confirmed that the Tubbs fire of Napa Valley has burned 20,000 acres of land in total, while the Nuns fire of Sonoma has destroyed 300 acres.

The Atlas fire, which is just south of Lake Berryessa in Napa Valley, has torched 5,000 acres since it started.

The cause of the fires is still under investigation.

.@napacountyfire responding to an auto salvage yard on fire at end of Green Island are. Please stay away from area. pic.twitter.com/9eOhoySeEo

— County of Napa (@CountyofNapa) October 8, 2017

Meteorologist Mike Nicco of KGO-TV in San Francisco has been tweeting updates on the fires.

Document everything you own with pictures and video now. By time to evacuate it’s too late. #napafires #sonomafires pic.twitter.com/44dO0EaYZ7

— Mike Nicco (@MikeNiccoABC7) October 9, 2017

Unfortunately, this is not needed rain. It’s is smoke and it is thick and toxic. #napafire #santarosa pic.twitter.com/0IHI8e5fXe

— Mike Nicco (@MikeNiccoABC7) October 9, 2017

Neighboring Marin County said on its official Twitter page that it’s been overwhelmed with calls by residents.

Calls are overwhelming our 911 center due to Napa Co. 🔥 & winds are pushing smoke into Marin. Please call 911 only if you see 🔥 near your 🏘

— Marin County Sheriff (@MarinSheriff) October 9, 2017

There are churches and community centers open to those families that are seeking refuge from the fire.

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