US Winds expected to drive next wave of deadly California fires

18:38  12 october  2017
18:38  12 october  2017 Source:   Associated Press

Portugal forest fires death toll rises to 44

  Portugal forest fires death toll rises to 44 The death toll from forest fires that have devastated parts of central Portugal in recent days rose again on Friday to 44, following the death of one of the people injured in the blazes, authoriities said. "It was a person who was seriously injured and hospitalised in Coimbra," Patricia Gaspar, spokeswoman for the civil protection authority, told AFP."The number of injured is still around 70," she added.A day earlier another corpse was discovered in the central city of Coimbra, which was badly hit by the fires that broke on Sunday and have since been brought under control with the help of rain and calmer winds.

Wildfires already well on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history could gain momentum Thursday and erase even the modest gains firefighters have made.

(AP) — Wildfires already well on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history could gain momentum Thursday and erase even the modest gains firefighters have made. Steady winds with gusts up to 45 mph (72 kph) with nearly non-existent humidity are expected to

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SONOMA, Calif. — Gusting winds and dry air forecast for Thursday could drive the next wave of devastating wildfires that are already well on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history.

High Winds Continue to Fan Deadly Northern California Wildfires

  High Winds Continue to Fan Deadly Northern California Wildfires High Winds Continue to Fan Deadly Northern California WildfiresThe gusty conditions threatened a reversal of fortunes from Friday, when firefighters were able to carve wider barriers around some fires.

(AP) — Wildfires already well on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history could gain momentum Thursday and erase even the modest gains firefighters have made. Steady winds with gusts up to 45 mph (72 kph) with nearly non-existent humidity are expected to

(AP) — Gusting winds and dry air forecast for Thursday could drive the next wave of devastating wildfires that are already well on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history.

Winds up to 45 mph (72 kph) were expected to pummel areas north of San Francisco where at least 23 people have died and at least 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed. The conditions could erase modest gains made by firefighters.

"It's going to continue to get worse before it gets better," state fire Chief Ken Pimlott said Wednesday.

Entire cities had evacuated in anticipation of the next round of flames, their streets empty, the only motion coming from ashes falling like snowflakes.

Homes burned by a wildfire are seen Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Santa Rosa, Calif. Wildfires whipped by powerful winds swept through Northern California sending residents on a headlong flight to safety through smoke and flames as homes burned. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) © The Associated Press Homes burned by a wildfire are seen Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Santa Rosa, Calif. Wildfires whipped by powerful winds swept through Northern California sending residents on a headlong flight to safety through smoke and flames as homes burned. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

In Calistoga, a historic resort town known for wine tastings and hot springs, 5,300 people were under evacuation orders. Tens of thousands more have been driven from their homes by the flames. A few left behind cookies for firefighters and signs reading, "Please save our home!"

California fires: Deputies braved flames to evacuate residents

  California fires: Deputies braved flames to evacuate residents As walls of flames and thick plumes of smoke continued to tear through Northern California Saturday, grim stories are emerging of the desperate attempts to save people in one of the state's deadliest wildfires.The fire has killed 36 people, with many victims so badly burned, their bodies were reduced to ash and bones when rescuers found them. In some cases, authorities have used dental records, fingerprints, tattoos and serial numbers on hip implants to identify victims.

(AP) — Wildfires already well on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history could gain momentum Thursday and erase even the modest gains firefighters have made. Steady winds with gusts up to 45 mph (72 kph) with nearly non-existent humidity are expected to

Entire cities had evacuated in anticipation of the next wave , their streets empty, the only motion coming from ashes falling like snowflakes. Orange County fire officials said the blaze was 60 percent contained and full containment was expected by Sunday, although another round of gusty winds and

The 22 fires, many out of control, spanned more than 265 square miles (686 square kilometers) as the inferno entered its fourth day. Strategic attacks that have kept wildfire destruction and death tolls low in recent years haven't worked against the ferocity of the blazes.

"We are literally looking at explosive vegetation," Pimlott said.

"Make no mistake," he added later, "this is a serious, critical, catastrophic event."

<p> Northern California wine country is threatened as <a href=a series of massive wildfires continue to rage in the counties of Napa, Sonoma, and elsewhere.

More than a dozen fires ignited on Sunday and grew as strong, dry windsspread the flames over fields and freeways. The eight-county blaze destroyed at least 2,000 homes, businesses, and other structures, and sent residents fleeing for their lives. Thirteen people are dead.

A majority of the area's thousands of wineries have been spared. But winemakers won't know the extent of the damage until evacuation orders are lifted and they can return to their estates.

Here's what we know about the state of damaged wineries.

" src="/upload/images/real/2017/10/12/p-northern-california-wine-country-is-threatened-as-a-href-http-www-businessinsider-com-category-san_958288_.jpg" />
Before-and-after photos show how California's wineries have been devastated by fires

Residents in the community of Boyes Hot Springs in Sonoma County were told to clear out Wednesday, and the streets were quickly lined with cars packed with fleeing people.

"That's very bad," resident Nick Hinman said when a deputy warned him that the driving winds could shift the wildfires toward the town of Sonoma, where 11,000 people live. "It'll go up like a candle."

Boiling river of wine flows through burned down California winery

  Boiling river of wine flows through burned down California winery A scalding torrent of copper-colored wine flowed among burned wine barrels and charred fermented tanks at a California winery after flames swept through the area Tuesday, part of the devastating wildfires wreaking havoc on wine country. The blaze engulfed Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa, owned by Rene Byke, and burned barrels of wine and equipment. The owners of the winery confirmed the fire, saying they were “heartbroken” and “appreciate everyone’s well wishes.

SONOMA — Wildfires already well on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history could gain momentum Thursday and erase even the modest gains firefighters have made. Steady winds with gusts up to 45 mph with nearly non-existent humidity are expected to

Arrest Records. Video. Sonoma County officials opted not to send mass alert on deadly . Live updates: Napa has poorest air in the nation due to fires Man charged in 4 shootings, including death of Scout worker. Family held captive by Taliban-linked group released. Winds expected to drive next wave of

The ash rained down on e Sonoma Valley, covering windshields, as winds picked up. Countless emergency vehicles hurried toward the flames, sirens blaring, as evacuees sped away after jamming possessions into their cars and filling their gas tanks.

Officials voiced concern that the 22 separate blazes would merge into larger infernos.

"We have had big fires in the past. This is one of the biggest, most serious, and it's not over," Gov. Jerry Brown said at a news conference Wednesday, alongside the state's top emergency officials.

They said 8,000 firefighters and other personnel were battling the blazes, with more resources pouring in from Arizona, Nevada, Washington and Oregon.

Flames have raced across the wine-growing region and the scenic coastal area of Mendocino farther north, leveling whole neighborhoods and leaving brick chimneys and charred appliances to mark the sites where homes once stood.

In Boyes Hot Springs, residents had watched ridges over the west side of town for days to gauge how close the orange flames had come. On Wednesday, the ridges were obscured by growing clouds of smoke.

Sonoma Raceway not at 'immediate risk' as wildfire rages nearby

  Sonoma Raceway not at 'immediate risk' as wildfire rages nearby Wildfires spread to the grounds of Sonoma Raceway overnight. Track officials said the fire reached the 1,600-acre property around 3:00am Monday morning. With the increasing number of fires spreading through Sonoma and Napa Counties, California Gov. Jerry Brown issued an emergency proclamation on Monday. Major arteries surrounding Sonoma Raceway including Highways 12, 121 and 37 were closed to public traffic.“All of us at Sonoma Raceway extend our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to those who have been touched by the devastating North Bay fires,” the track said in a release.

(AP) — Wildfires already well on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history could gain momentum Thursday and erase even the modest gains firefighters have made. Steady winds with gusts up to 45 mph (72 kph) with nearly non-existent humidity are expected to

(AP) — Wildfires already well on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history could gain momentum Thursday and erase even the modest gains firefighters have made. Steady winds with gusts up to 45 mph (72 kph) with nearly non-existent humidity are expected to

With fires advancing from several sides in Sonoma Valley, law enforcement officers on loan from other areas barred residents of evacuated communities from returning to see how their homes and businesses had fared. Roadblocks were set up between Sonoma and devastated areas of Santa Rosa.

Alejandro Rodriguez had been evacuated from one tiny Sonoma Valley town, only to have deputies come to the neighborhood where he had relocated and tell residents to pack up and go.

"I want to see my house, see if anything's left," Rodriguez said, gesturing at officers at one roadblock. "They won't tell us nothing."

Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano said hundreds of people had been reported missing. But officials believe many will eventually be found. Chaotic evacuations and poor communications over the past few days have made locating friends and family difficult.

The sheriff expects the death toll to climb.

"The devastation is enormous," he said. "We can't even get into most areas."

Helicopters and air tankers were assisting thousands of firefighters trying to beat back the flames. Until now, the efforts have focused on "life safety" rather than extinguishing the blazes, partly because the flames were shifting with winds and targeting communities without warning.

Fires were "burning faster than firefighters can run, in some situations," Emergency Operations Director Mark Ghilarducci said.

In Southern California, cooler weather and moist ocean air helped firefighters gain ground against a wildfire that has scorched nearly 14 square miles (36 sq. kilometers).

Orange County fire officials said the blaze was 60 percent contained.

___

Gecker reported from San Francisco. Associated Press writers Olga R. Rodriguez, Juliet Williams and Andrew Dalton in San Francisco contributed to this report.

___

Follow the AP's complete wildfire coverage here: https://apnews.com/tag/Wildfires .

Firefighters continue to gain ground on deadly Northern California blazes .
As more people returned to their homes in Northern California on Tuesday and officials continued the search for dozens of missing people, fire crews gained additional ground on the deadly blazes that have scorched more than 210,000 acres and killed at least 41. The four largest fires were all more than 50 percent contained as of Tuesday morning. The 52,894-acre Nuns fire, which gave firefighters the most trouble over the weekend, was 68 percent contained.Crews made progress against the two parts of the fire closest to the cities of Sonoma and Santa Rosa, officials told firefighters at a morning briefing at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

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