Home / News / At Least 11 Dead and 100 Missing as Wildfires Rage Across Northern California

At Least 11 Dead and 100 Missing as Wildfires Rage Across Northern California

Wildfire in Santa Rosa, California, Oct 9, 2017.
Photo Credit: Bill Janis / Flickr

The Northern California wildfires that broken swaths of Napa and Sonoma Counties north of San Francisco were still rash on Tuesday morning.

Emergency workers were acid for some-more than 100 blank people. Fire fighters continued to battle the blazes and area residents coped with upended lives and damages that will sum into the hundreds of millions.

At slightest 11 people were reported passed in the firestorm that starting after midnight Monday, as supposed Santa Ana winds reaching 50 miles per hours or some-more blew in from the sea and incited the east-west valleys along the Napa and Sonoma County lines into fire-breathing breeze tunnels. The indirect cauldron broken at slightest 1,500 homes from million-dollar mansions on hilltops to whole neighborhoods in Santa Rosa, the region’s largest municipality, where the firestorm hit the hollow building and swept divided middle-class subdivisions, business districts and low-income trailer parks.


Some of the region’s best-known and oldest wineries were destroyed. The repairs was serious along the Silverado Trail, a highway flanking eastern Napa Valley, where Signorello, Stags Leap, Cliff Lede and others were broken or exceedingly damaged. Elsewhere on the Napa-Sonoma line, Chateau St. Jean, and the oldest family-owned winery, Gundlach Bundscho, also burned down.

The fires were so swift, remarkable and immeasurable on Monday that emergency workers focused on rescuing people, vouchsafing many structures burn. The repairs was compounded since fire departments from one city could not daub into the water systems in others, due to miss of uniform fire hydrant fittings. 

October is one of the driest months in Northern California and when some of the many serious fires have occurred. 

The mixed firestorms pennyless out in the early morning hours. Local news reports were filled with testimonials from people who were awakened by the smell of smoke after 2am and saw an encroaching red intense sky. Untold numbers of people fled with only the garments on their backs, streamer divided from the wall of abandon that lighted and grew and consumed all combustible.

As word of the fire widespread Monday morning, people via the Bay Area tried to strech family and friends in the fire zone. This was formidable by cellphone coverage unwell opposite swaths of fire-affected areas. The conditions was generally formidable in the towns of Napa and Sonoma, as they were surrounded by many smaller localized outbreaks of fire, also shutting down major roadways.

News reports from helicopter surveys pronounced several tiny towns nestled in the Sonoma County hills were wiped out.

Meanwhile, thousands of people in homes nearby the fire lines were make-up their cars with valuables in expectation of being systematic by police to evacuate. Schools via the segment were sealed and people were told to stay indoors due to the smoke. By Tuesday, some people were allowed to return to their homes to see the damage. Many only saw piles of charcoal with gas lines still flaring flames, as Pacific Gas and Electric could not concede workers into still-hot neighborhoods to spin off gas lines.

The largest informal hospitals were closed, not since they were threatened by fire, but since of the air peculiarity and miss of access. A march of ambulances took the sickest patients to Marin General Hospital and other informal medical centers.

Extensive stating by the San Francisco Chronicle detailed the border of the devastation, which was not entirely famous as the fires were not nonetheless contained. Reporters remarkable that whole neighborhoods in Santa Rosa, the north bay’s largest city, were razed and fixtures in the North Bay community, from private schools and major behaving venues were destroyed.

The journal also reported that the fire broken quantities of pot about to be harvested. Similarly, early assessments of the repairs to wineries were grim. While internal papers were stating many wineries had picked many of their fruit, locals who work in the attention pronounced the feverishness could have shop-worn of busted infinite volumes from new years aging in storage tanks.

California Gov. Jerry Brown announced a state of emergency in the influenced counties, which will trigger state and sovereign disaster relief.

Steven Rosenfeld covers inhabitant domestic issues for AlterNet, including America’s democracy and voting rights. He is the author of several books on elections and the co-author of Who Controls Our Schools: How Billionaire-Sponsored Privatization Is Destroying Democracy and the Charter School Industry (AlterNet eBook, 2016).

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