Communication Problems Plague California As 22 Large Fires Rage On

At least 23 people have been killed in the wildfires ravaging California. It's estimated that 3,500 homes and business have been destroyed so far as 8,000 firefighters work to control the 22 large fires that continue to burn across the state. There are still 285 missing persons reports filed, but officials believe many of those could be due to communication issues.

California Highway Patrol went door to door in parts of Sonoma County Wednesday night strongly advising people to leave their homes.

Some residents say a lack of communication is what prevented them from knowing the fire was coming closer, reports CBS News' Mireya Villarreal from Santa Rosa, one of the hardest hit areas. 

"It's devastating. It literally looks like a bomb went off," said Heather Bowers. When she saw ash raining down in her front yard Sunday night, she became the neighborhood emergency alert system.

"They were like, 'what's going on?' I'm like, 'you need to pack your stuff up and get out,'" Bowers said.


Bowers' mother and two brothers lost their homes, her mother escaping with only the clothes she was wearing.

>Northern California wildfires
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