A relentless onslaught of wildfires in Northern California is ravaging wineries, rural towns, and whole neighborhoods. Authorities say at least 10 are dead, at least 100 are injured and at least 1,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed. All three figures were expected to surge in the coming days as more information is reported.
The City of Santa Rosa and its 175,000 residents felt much of the damage, with strip malls, business parks, hotels and subdivisions swallowed up by the fire. Smaller towns and vineyards in wine country were also hard hit, their residents forced to flee. Taken as a group, the fires are already among the deadliest in California history. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott say an estimated 20,000 people have been evacuated. Pimlott says the fires are burning throughout an eight-county swath, including Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yuba and Butte Counties.