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17 Lives Lost in Devastating Northern California Wildfires

Wildfire

The wildfires in Northern California have now claimed 17 lives, as of Oct. 10, 2017. The numerous fires began in the region on Sunday, Oct. 8. At least 600 people are missing or unaccounted for and at least 70,000 acres have been charred.

Cal Fire reports that the deadly fires are in various stages of containment. However, the Atlas Fire in Napa and Sonoma Counties has now consumed 42,349 acres. Only 3 percent is contained. The Tubbs Fire, in the same counties, has burned 28,000 acres with no containment reported.

The Tubbs Fire is made up of “nearly two dozen” individual blazes is continuing to spread. Eleven people have died since Sunday making this the deadliest wildfire complex in 14 years.

Overnight the winds shifted initiating a new round of emergency evacuation notices. Deputies ran door-to-door notifying remaining residents. Misti Harris, a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, said:

It’s rapidly changing, it’s moving quickly, it’s a very fluid situation. The fire is growing.

Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano stated that the fire zones will remain off limits for non-essential personnel mainly to prevent looting. He told The Washington Post there had already been three theft-related arrests. It is unlikely that residents will be able to return their homes this week.

Giordano admonished anyone living in the evacuation zones to stay away until it is safe to return. He said that he could not stress the point enough. “If you have a place to go, go; you don’t need to be here,” he added.

Cal Fire will continue to update the public as they battle these wildfires. The News School will report those updates when they come available.

By Cathy Milne

Source:

The Washington Post: ‘Pure devastation’: At least 17 dead, more than 500 missing as California wildfires spread

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Ryan Howley’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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