Cause of raging Northern California fires remains under investigation, officials say

California California fire California wildfire wildfires Jerry Brown Napa Sonoma Mendocino County

California California fire California wildfire wildfires Jerry Brown Napa Sonoma Mendocino County

The future is unknown for Dana as he's been in contact with his insurance company, but it's unclear when the rebuilding process will begin.

"Depending on the damage, even if they were lucky enough to get the grapes off from this year's vintage, they could be completely gone, they could have to replant everything".

"These fires are literally just burning faster than firefighters can run in some situations", Emergency Operations Director Mark Ghilarducci said.

Officials were concerned that the many separate blazes would merge into larger infernos.

"For us being so far away, but intrinsically linked by the industry, we want to do something", said Markin.

Those destructive flames raced across the wine country of Napa and Sonoma counties and the coastal beauty of Mendocino further north, leaving little more than smoldering ashes and eye-stinging smoke in their wake. On Wednesday, the ridges were obscured by the growing clouds of smoke.

Many of the flames still burned out of control, and the fires grew to more than 300 square miles (777 square kilometres).

Local animal shelters, which are helping people keep their pets safe, also need financial support: Humane Society of Sonoma County: sonomahumane.org, Humane Society of Napa County: napahumane.org, and Yuba-Sutter SPCA: yubasutterspca.org.

Already, 25,000 people had been ordered to leave the area and other parts of Northern California and officials in the city of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County called for the evacuations of five more areas. "The bottom line is we have a hot shower, a bathroom and a bed and blankets", said wildfire evacuee from Sonoma, Eric Morrison.

"In some cases we have found instances of wires down, broken poles and impacted infrastructure". The sheriff expects the death toll to climb. A colleague of mine was posting that so far it is the equivalent of four Vancouvers that have been affected by the fires. Until now, the efforts have focused on "life safety" rather than extinguishing the blazes, partly because the flames were shifting with winds and targeting new communities without warning.

A Southern California wildfire that destroyed 14 buildings - most of them homes - was contained yesterday.

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