At least 10 killed as wildfires ravage northern California

10 Oct 2017
At least 10 killed as wildfires ravage northern California

Los Angeles (dpa) - Fast-moving wildfires fuelled by strong winds and high temperatures killed at least 10 people in northern California on Monday and destroyed more than 1,500 homes and businesses.

Seven people were killed in Sonoma County, the local sheriff's office in the wine-growing region confirmed on Twitter, and two others were killed in Napa County, the state fire service told dpa.

Another death was confirmed in Mendocino County in a large fire that seriously injured at least two others.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for the area after the fires destroyed buildings and threatened thousands of homes. The declaration is designed to make it easier for officials to mobilize more resources, including the National Guard, to fight the flames.

The fires, which spread over several counties, scorched over 38,000 hectares over the past 24 hours and destroyed more than 1,500 homes, structures and businesses, Calfire confirmed. Around 20,000 people were evacuated from their homes and taken to safety.

One blaze, dubbed the Tubbs fire, which is burning between Santa Rosa and Calistoga grew from 81 hectares to more than 10,000 hectares on Monday, fire officials said.

Extreme weather conditions, including strong winds and high temperatures, have made it difficult for firefighters to contain the blazes.