SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) -
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) -The Latest on wildfires in California (all times local):
Fire in Coffey Park in Santa Rosa, Ca., Photo Date: October 9, 2017 Photo: Kent Porter / Twitter via MGN.
Officials say they have thousands of firefighters battling 22 blazes burning in Northern California and that more are coming from nearby states.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Chief Ken Pimlott says close to 8,000 firefighters have been deployed and are fighting the blazes by air and on the ground.
Pimlott says Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and Washington are sending firefighters and the U.S. Forest Service is sending fire engines, bulldozers and hand crews.
He also says there are concerns several fires could merge into one big blaze. The fires north of San Francisco are among the deadliest in California history.
The blazes have also left at least 180 people injured and have destroyed more than 3,500 homes and businesses. More than 4,400 people were staying in shelters Wednesday.
California Gov. Jerry Brown warns that catastrophic wildfires will keep ripping through the state as the climate warms.
Brown told reporters Wednesday that more people are living in communities close to forests and brush that easily ignite because of dry weather. Blazes burning in Northern California have become some of the deadliest in state history.
He says a warming climate has contributed to catastrophic wildfires and that they will continue to happen. The governor, who's positioned himself as a leader in the fight against climate change, says residents and officials have to be prepared and do everything they can to mitigate the problem.
Brown says the federal government has pledged assistance but points out resources also are going to hurricane recovery efforts in Texas and Florida.
Authorities say some of the most destructive wildfires in California's history have killed 21 people.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Chief Ken Pimlott gave an updated death toll Wednesday, calling the series of wildfires in wine country "a serious, critical, catastrophic event."
He says 8,000 firefighters are focusing on protecting lives and property as they battle the flames chewing through critically dry vegetation.
California fire official: 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed in deadly wine country wildfires.
The return of cooler weather and moist ocean air is helping an army of firefighters gain ground against a wildfire that has scorched more than a dozen square miles in Southern California.
Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi says the fire has laid down significantly Wednesday due to the marine layer and the work of more than 1,600 firefighters and a fleet of aircraft.
Concialdi says the blaze is 45 percent surrounded and full containment is expected by Saturday, but commanders are holding onto resources because of forecasts for another round of gusty winds and low humidity levels starting Thursday night.
Incomplete damage assessments have now tallied 15 structures destroyed and 12 damaged, including homes and outbuildings.
All evacuations have been lifted except for certain homes in the city of Orange.
The fire erupted Monday about 45 miles southeast of Los Angeles as warm, dry Santa Ana winds swept the region. The cause remains under investigation.
Animals from the Orange County Zoo are among evacuees returning home as crews get a handle on a Southern California wildfire that destroyed 14 buildings and damaged 22 others.
Evacuation orders were lifted Tuesday for thousands of people in Anaheim, Orange and Tustin. And more than 100 animals - including small birds, mammals and reptiles - were returned to the zoo within Irvine Regional Park, where flames roared on Monday.
Zoo officials tell the Orange County Register (http://bit.ly/2gcnFiK) that the remaining animals including bears and mountain lions will be brought back in the coming days.
The newspaper says the zoo had undergone an emergency drill a week before the fire, which helped the evacuation run as smoothly as possible.
Cooler, more humid air is helping firefighters tame that blaze in northern Orange County.
A wildfire tearing through California's wine country continues to expand unabated, prompting authorities to order more evacuations.
The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday it ordered mandatory evacuations for several areas of Sonoma Valley after a blaze grew to 44 square miles (113 square kilometers).
After a day of cooler weather and calmer winds, officials say dangerous gusty winds will return to the region Wednesday afternoon, complicating firefighters' efforts.
The blaze in Sonoma County is one of a series of fires that flared up north of San Francisco on Sunday night and continue to burn with little to no containment. Seventeen people have died in the blazes, 11 of them in Sonoma County.
The fires have also left at least 180 people injured and have destroyed more than 2,000 homes and businesses.
Jose Garnica worked for more than two decades to build up his dream home that was reduced to ashes in a matter of minutes by the deadly firestorm striking Northern California.
Garnica's house was among more than 2,000 homes and business destroyed by the fires that have also killed 17 people.
He moved to the U.S. from Mexico more than 20 years ago, and after saving money from his steady job with a garbage company he fixed up his Santa Rosa house with new flooring and stainless steel appliances.
All of it burned early Monday when the fires broke out. But Garnica says he's still better off than when he came to America.
The fires have scorched large sections of the state's wine country.
The death toll from wildfires raging in Northern California has now grown to 17.
The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office announced two additional deaths there late Tuesday. That brings the county's total to 11. The other six are spread among Napa, Yuba and Mendocino counties.
The Sheriff's Office released only the names of the streets where the deceased were discovered, and no information on the identities or circumstances of the deaths.
The series of fires that flared up north of San Francisco on Sunday night are among the deadliest in California history.
The blazes have also left at least 180 people injured and have destroyed more than 2,000 homes and businesses.
In Southern California, most evacuation orders have been lifted as firefighters successfully battle a wildfire that destroyed 14 buildings, most of them homes.
Thousands of people in Tustin, Orange and Anaheim were allowed to begin returning home Tuesday evening, a day after the blaze erupted in northern Orange County.
Only a few streets remain off-limits.
The wind-driven fire raced through tinder-dry hills but Orange County fire Capt. Larry Kurtz says the winds have died and temperatures are cooling.
The fire is more than 25 percent contained.
Kurtz says fire crews now hope to go on the offensive but they will still continue to protect homes in evacuated areas. He says crews can't afford to let any sparks or embers ignite.
Hospitals say they have treated at least 185 people injured by wildfires that have rampaged through parts of Northern California since Sunday night.
Most of the injured were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital's emergency room, which treated about 100 people since the wildfires began. The hospital said most had respiratory-related issues, including difficulty breathing, asthma and throat irritation, and 14 patients were treated for burns. Three of the burn victims remain in the ICU.
Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa treated about 50 patients, mostly for minor injuries and smoke inhalation.
Petaluma Valley Hospital treated about 35 patients from wildfires, most of whom have been released.
A key Napa County vintner says at least five wineries in his trade group are destroyed or seriously damaged in a region synonymous with excellent food and wine.
The Napa Valley Vintners association earlier Tuesday had put the number at four. But board chairman Michael Honig said the latest count was five. He said damage was to facilities, and the group does not know about vineyards.
Honig said the next few days might not be the best time to sample wines, but he wants people to visit in a week or two. He is convinced the Napa brand will survive.
A family member says an elderly couple that died in a Northern California fire was together since grade school and celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary last year.
Mike Rippey said Tuesday his 100-year-old father, Charles, and 98-year-old mother, Sara, grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and went to college in the state together.
They settled in Napa after Mike Rippey said he moved to the region about 45 years ago.
Rippey said his mother didn't move well, and his parents were unable to get out before the blaze destroyed their home. His brother found their bodies on Monday.
The sheriff of a Northern California county where at least nine people have been killed by a raging wildfire says officials have yet to search through the devastation.
Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano says his office is starting to organize search teams. But they have yet to inspect the affected areas because there are still hotspots.
Giordano says the massive blaze is still very active in the Sonoma Valley and in the southern part of the county.
Santa Rosa Police said Tuesday afternoon that a new blaze that started Monday night is quickly approaching Oakmont, a Santa Rosa neighborhood.
Worried vintners in Northern California's wine country continue to determine the extent of damage to vineyards and wineries after wildfires swept through Napa and Sonoma counties.
The Napa Valley Vintners trade association reported that at least four wineries belonging to members suffered "total or very significant losses." It also reported at least nine others reported damage to wineries or surrounding vineyards.
The organization emphasized that it had not heard from all members, especially those in the most vulnerable parts of the valley.
The oldest family-run winery in California survived Monday night. But operators were anxious to assess some crops.
The trade group said 90 percent of grapes had already been picked, with most of the remaining crop thick-skinned cabernet sauvignon grapes not expected to be effected by the smoke.
California's two senators are calling on the White House to speed up the availability of federal aid to California counties affected by wildfires that led to the deaths of at least 15 people.
Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein said they support California Gov. Jerry Brown's request for a major disaster declaration and asked President Donald Trump to "expedite the damage assessment reviews necessary to make federal assistance available ... as soon as possible."
The senators said damage is especially bad in the counties of Butte, Lake, Napa, Nevada, Mendocino, Sonoma and Yuba.
Trump approved the request. He said he spoke with Brown on Monday night to "let him know that the federal government will stand with the people of California. And we will be there for you in this time of terrible tragedy and need."
The California National Guard has been tasked with bringing fuel to first responders battling the flames in Northern California because so many gas stations are without power.
Officials say trucks are bringing fuel into inaccessible areas and helping fuel emergency vehicles directly from the trucks. The utility companies, meanwhile, have representatives stationed at the state's emergency operations headquarters in Sacramento working to get power back up and running.
Emergency operations director Mark Ghilarducci says several thousand people in Napa and Sonoma counties are still without power. Seventy-seven cellular sites were damaged or destroyed, also disrupting communication.
Major General David Baldwin of the California National Guard says 242 soldiers and airmen are assisting in responding to the fires in the two counties.
President Donald Trump says the federal government will be there for the people of California as devastating wildfires rage through the state's famed wine country.
Trump says he spoke with Gov. Jerry Brown Monday night to "let him know that the federal government will stand with the people of California. And we will be there for you in this time of terrible tragedy and need."
At least 15 people have died and at least 2,000 homes, businesses and other structures have been destroyed by the wildfires in Northern California.
Authorities in Southern California say at least 14 structures have been destroyed and another 22 damaged in a wind-driven brush fire in northeastern Orange County.
Orange County Fire Capt. Larry Kurtz said Tuesday that the fire was 25 percent contained but some 5,000 structures were still threatened and evacuation orders remained in place for thousands of residents.
A CalFire division chief told reporters that firefighters have turned their focus to the eastern portion of the blaze as the winds were starting to shift direction.
He says authorities hope to let some Orange County residents return home late Tuesday.
He says they are developing contingency plans for communities east of the fire as a precaution.
The fire has burned about 12 square miles.
California Gov. Jerry Brown says the federal government has approved his request for assistance to help battle wildfires burning in Northern California that have killed at least 15 people.
Brown said in a statement Tuesday the Federal Emergency Management Agency responded promptly to California's request.
He says he appreciates President Donald Trump's fast response.
Brown on Monday declared a state of emergency for Napa, Sonoma, Yuba, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada and Orange counties and requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to help battle at least 18 blazes burning throughout the state.
A fire official says two more people have died in Sonoma County, raising the total number killed in wildfires in Northern California to 15.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Chief Ken Pimlott said Tuesday at least 2,000 homes, businesses and other structures have been destroyed.
He says it would be up to local authorities to release the names of the victims once their families have been notified.
A fire official says at least 13 people have died in Northern California wildfires while 2,000 homes and businesses and other structures have been destroyed.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Chief Ken Pimlott says there are 16 fires burning throughout the region with another blaze in Orange County.
At least 4,000 personnel are helping fight the blazes.
A county in California wine country says about 200 missing-person reports have been lodged as family members and friends scramble to locate loved ones while wildfires ravage the region.
Sonoma County spokeswoman Maggie Fleming said Tuesday the reports have come via calls to a hotline.
She says it's possible that most of those reported missing are safe but can't be reached because of the widespread loss of cellphone service and other communications.
Fleming says officials are advising people with access to the internet to declare themselves safe on social media or contact the Red Cross.
Fires have killed at least 13 people, seven in Sonoma County.
A Northern California county is reporting two more people were killed by a blaze in their area, raising the total number of fatalities in the region's wildfires to at least 13.
Mendocino County Sheriff Thomas Allman said Tuesday the victims died in Redwood Valley, a town of 2,000 people. A person was reported killed in the same town on Monday.
Allman says some people refused to leave their homes in communities that were destroyed by a wildfire.
He says the sheriff's office and other law enforcement officials well go check those communities later Tuesday to hopefully find people who are safe.
Wildfires are burning in several areas in Northern California.
Authorities say at least 100 people have been injured, and as many as 1,500 homes and businesses destroyed.
A Northern California wildfire has destroyed about half of a Catholic high school and left some 620 students without school for the rest of the week.
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/2xsJF0k ) that the library, main office and portable classrooms of Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa are burned.
Principal Graham Rutherford estimated that up to 18 of the school's 35 classrooms are likely destroyed. He said the challenge now is to determine how to use the classroom space that remains.
Other schools in the area were also heavily damaged or destroyed.
An official has identified a couple killed when a blaze destroyed their Napa County home.
Napa County Sheriff John Robertson said Tuesday that 100-year-old Charles Rippey and his wife, 98-year-old Sara Rippey, died inside their home.
The couple's granddaughter, Ruby Gibney, told Oakland television station KTVU (http://bit.ly/2kCV4Vz ) on Monday that their home was quickly ravaged by the fire and they were unable to get out.
Gibney says they had recently celebrated 75 years of marriage.
State authorities are deploying more firefighters and law enforcement officials to areas devastated by wildfires raging in Northern California.
Brad Alexander, a spokesman of the governor's Office of Emergency Services, says hundreds more firefighters from throughout the state will join the fight Tuesday. He says California has also asked for fire crews from the U.S. Forest Service in Nevada.
The blazes burning in several counties were at zero percent containment Tuesday.
Alexander says more law enforcement officials will be sent to help with evacuations and guard against looting.
A Northern California official has confirmed that a person died trying to flee a blaze in Yuba County, bringing the total number of fatalities to 11.
Yuba County spokesman Russ Brown said Tuesday that the unidentified person was in a vehicle fleeing from the town of Loma Rica, ran off a back road and became trapped in the blaze.
Brown tells the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/2yduVRG ) that the person died early Monday.
Authorities on Monday confirmed seven fire-related deaths in Sonoma County, two in Napa County and one in Mendocino County.
A wildfire that has burned nearly a dozen square miles among Southern California suburbs is still just 5 percent contained and authorities say the thousands of people who evacuated will not be going home soon.
Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt says the fire remains a threat to about 3,500 Orange County homes Tuesday morning and neighborhoods might not open until Wednesday.
There's concern that the fire could spread into Cleveland National Forest.
The fire began Monday morning in the Anaheim Hills about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles and was rapidly spread by the region's notorious warm, dry and gusty Santa Ana winds.
The National Weather Service says those conditions should ease through the day.
The Orange County fire has destroyed two dozen structures, including homes and outbuildings.
Authorities say a new blaze is threatening homes near a Northern California city already battling unforgiving wildfires.
Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Summer Black says flames began coming over a ridge shortly after 11 p.m. Monday in an area bordering Santa Rosa's Oakmont neighborhood and Trione-Annadel State Park.
Black tells the Santa Rosa Press Democrat (http://bit.ly/2wLgBge ) that most of the Oakmont area was evacuated earlier in the day due to rampant wildfires.
Officials are asking anyone remaining to leave the area.
Firefighters are battling an onslaught of wildfires in Northern California that has ravaged wineries, rural towns and whole neighborhoods.
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.
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.
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