10 Dead From Northern California’s Wine Country Massive Fire, 1,500 Structures Destroyed

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At least 10 people have died and at least 1,500 homes, businesses and other structures have been destroyed as more than 14 fires ravaged eight counties throughout Northern California on Monday, authorities said.wilfire-northern-california

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office reported seven fire-related deaths late Monday. In addition, two died because of the Atlas fire in Napa County, said a CalFire spokesperson. One person died as result of the Redwood Valley fire in Mendocino County.

 

The vast devastation over just a few hours made this firestorm one of the worst in California history, with Gov. Jerry Brown declaring a state of emergency.

 

Local hospitals were treating those injured while others are unaccounted for, officials said. Additional fatalities were possible as search efforts continued.

 

One of the raging fires had Santa Rosa under siege Monday morning, with a large swath of the city north of downtown under an evacuation order.

 

The area of Fountaingrove appeared to be particularly hard hit, with photos showing numerous homes on fire. The Fountaingrove Inn, a Hilton hotel and a high school also burned. Officials said homes were also lost in the community of Kenwood and at a mobile home park off the 101 Freeway.

 

Coffey Park, a large Santa Rosa subdivision of dozens of homes, was burned to the ground.

 

“It’s fair to say it’s been destroyed,” Cal Fire director Ken Pimlott said of Santa Rosa’s Fountaingrove neighborhood.

 

While many evacuation centers were set up, some were filled to capacity due to the large number of people fleeing.

 

The Tubbs fire near Santa Rosa has burned more than 35,000 acres as of 6:40 a.m., Napa County Supervisor Diane Dillon said during a televised news conference Monday morning. Officials said the other large fire in Napa County — Atlas Peak — has reached 25,000 acres.

 

Schools throughout the Napa and Sonoma valleys are closed for the day, and cellphone service has been affected in Napa County, where residents and businesses are experiencing power outages and trees have been knocked down by the wind, officials said.

 

More than 50 structures, including homes and barns, have burned in the Atlas Peak fire alone, Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann said during the news conference.

 

Residents described running from the approaching flames early in the morning.

 

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
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