Worldwide

Dozens of homes destroyed in massive fires in California wine country

Dozens of homes destroyed in massive fires in California wine country

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports the fires burned into parts of Santa Rosa and the Sonoma Valley, destroying multiple homes in neighborhoods to the north and southeast of Santa Rosa early Monday.

Firefighters were battling a 200-acre (80.9-hectare) wildfire in Napa County, an area almost 70 miles north of San Francisco that is known for its vineyards, since late Sunday evening, according to the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

"It was an inferno like you've never seen before", Marian Williams, who escaped through flames before dawn near the town of Kenwood in Sonoma County, told AP.

"These fires have destroyed structures and continue to threaten thousands of homes, necessitating the evacuation of thousands of residents", the proclamation said.

The warning cited dry, "windy locations through the Napa Valley and northern Sonoma County valleys".

He says numerous people have been injured and a number of residents are also missing as 14 large fires burn. Soon he saw more houses engulfed in flames."I mean blazing, falling down on fire", he said.

Up to 10 separate fires threaten Sonoma County, where officials evacuated Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health hospitals.

Several evacuation centers have been set up, but many have already reached capacity.

The National Weather Service said solid breeze blasts and low dampness have added to the out of control fires.

The fires had stretched Sonoma and Napa counties firefighting resources to the breaking point.

Officials said it wouldn't be until daylight hours that fire agencies could begin to assess the amount of burned acreage and property loss.

Alyssa O'Gorman and her family fled their home in the nick of time. "We are not prepared to start counting", she said shortly after sunrise.

Emergency lines were inundated with callers reporting smoke in the area, prompting officials to ask that the public "only use 911 if they see actual unattended flames, or are having another emergency". "Literally it's burning into the city of Santa Rosa. burning box stores", Pimlott said. "The only thing we can do is hope the wind will come down", he said.

"Around 3 a.m., there was a lot slamming of doors, shouting, vehicle engines revving, so, I get up and go downstairs", Jake Palmgren, a 20-year-old custom crush worker told Wine Enthusiast.

Forecasters said winds will remain strong on Monday morning but are expected to ease by midday. A Calistoga shelter was opened at the Napa County Fairgrounds, 1435 N. Oak St.