10 dead in northern California wildfires

Flames moved through the vineyards as a fast moving wind whipped wild fire raged though the Napa  Sonoma wine region on October 9

10 dead in northern California wildfires

Officials said seven people have died in Sonoma County, one person died in Yuba Country, one person died in Mendocino County, and two people - a 100-year-old WWII veteran and his 98-year-old wife - died in Napa County.St. Joseph Health said it had treated around 170 people at its three hospitals in the region, mostly for smoke inhalation.

Frey Vineyards Winery: "Our winery has burned down, and most of the family homes, though our warehouse is intact", said Nathan Frey of Frey Vineyards, according to Wine Spectator. Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said that fire was burning "at explosive rates".

By Tuesday morning, at least 11 were dead, more than 100 injured and at least 1,500 homes and businesses destroyed, authorities said.

Other counties are sending firefighters and aid to California's wine country, and more help is expected to come.

Airbnb is also helping those affected by the fires, to get some much-needed rest.

Many residents have been warned not to return to their homes until further notice.

John Dean was driving to his Sonoma County home early Monday when he saw a house on fire along the road. The San Francisco-based company has activated its disaster response and relief program, which lets Bay Area hosts offer evacuees and relief workers a free place to stay.

Intensified by strong winds, the fires charred over 115,000 acres of land, destroyed at least 2,000 buildings and forced almost 20,000 residents to evacuate.

Most of the deaths occurred in Sonoma county, located just north of San Francisco, while some 20,000 people were forced to also flee from Napa and Yuba counties, where some of the largest blazes were reported. The smaller Nuns Fire, in Sonoma, was at 5,000 acres by about midday, officials said.

"We have a lot of rebuilding here", Crum said.

"They don't want to take any chances", Lowenthal said. They recalled all the possessions they had left behind and were lost. He said he drove through flames in his pickup truck with hopes of saving his home.

In Sonoma County, "it's like being in a room with a roaring fire, but you're outdoors with no fire", according to Matt Quinn, a Quartz editor who is a local resident.

Firefighters rushed to a home for the severely disabled when flames reached one side of the centre's sprawling campus in the historic Sonoma County town of Glen Ellen. Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency.

The fires, which began Sunday night, have already been characterized as "among the most destructive in state history".

"Right now, with these conditions, we can't get ahead of this fire and do anything about the forward progress", Biermann said. He said the power went out around 1am, and he and his colleagues started packing up when someone knocked on the door and told them to run.

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