Devastation of California's raging wildfires laid bare in drone footage (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
12 Октября 2017, 05:54 | Glen Norman
Cal Fire CBS News
More than 15,000 acres of land, including vineyards, in more than eight Northern California counties were engulfed by the flames of several combining fires, Tuesday.
Firefighters were locked in a fight with the wind-whipped blazes, but heading into a fourth day of the struggle they appeared no closer to containing them.
Here's a rundown of some of the largest fires, as of Wednesday morning: In Sonoma and Napa counties, the Tubbs Fire was at 28,000 acres with no containment level cited.
At least 13 of the deaths have occurred in Sonoma County, officials say.
The fires have affected thousands of people, forcing evacuation orders for more than 20,000 residents and obliterating homes - in some cases leaving structures on one side of the street intact, while reducing those on the other side to heaps of ash and rubble.
"We are literally looking at explosive vegetation", Pimlott said. "It is very dynamic".
The 22 fires spanned more than 265 square miles (686 square kilometers) as they entered their fourth day, many of them completely out of control. "There were times at night when my street was like a freeway", Hammar said.
But authorities point to a flawless storm of factors that have fanned the wildfires that began Sunday night, leaving at left 17 people dead, forcing 20,000 to evacuate and causing widespread devastation in Northern California.
"The fire was in the middle of the night", the sheriff said. About 25,000 people have been evacuated in Sonoma County and 5,000 have sought refuge in shelters, the department said.
The sheriff said he expected the death toll to go up. "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. But electric wires knocked down by those same winds may have sparked the conflagration, according to Daniel Berlant, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).
Residents of the Pacific Heights area behind Molsberry's Market in Larkfield were ordered to evacuate around 4:45 p.m., and residents of the Ida Clayton area of Geyserville from state Highway 128 to the Napa County line were ordered to evacuate as a fire spread north.
NPR's Eric Westervelt, reporting from Calistoga, spoke with Colin Curtis, who has been eyeing with concern the rapidly moving fires. "Power lines are a common cause of fires during wind events". "That just shows that no one is safe anywhere around here". The amount of fires, seeing this devastation, it sure has an effect.
"I don't want to lose my mom".
"She's spunky, she's sweet, she loves bingo and she loves the beach, she loves her family", said Jessica Tunis, crying.
McCallister tells NPR's Morning Edition that she posted the images in part because it has been hard to find details about damage in specific neighborhoods. Great state. Especially with those in Napa. It is clear that we are not out of the woods yet, and there is still a long road ahead of us - fighting these destructive fires, and rebuilding the great California city that once was.
"This is one of the biggest, most serious [fire events], and it's not over", Brown said.
If the winds shifted suddenly, the fires could quickly turn, putting them on a collision course with the town of Sonoma, population 11,000.
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