Eleven dead, thousands evacuated as wildfires tear through California wine country

Jeff Chiu/AP

Jeff Chiu/AP

(Via ABC News)

At least 11 people have died in raging California wildfires.

Seventeen fires are burning across the state, with flames fueled by strong winds. Nearly 90,000 acres are ablaze. The fires have destroyed at least 1,500 structures and forced the evacuation of 20,000 residents.

In Anaheim, hundreds of firefighters have mobilized to fight a blaze burning over an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 acres, affecting thousands of residents.

Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said the fires started around 10 p.m. local time Sunday.  He said firefighters are concentrating on saving lives rather than battling the blazes.

With flames sweeping through entire communities, some area hospitals have been evacuated. Evacuations were also issued for surrounding counties that are under threat, according to the Napa Valley Sheriff’s Office.

The National Weather Service reported strong winds in the San Francisco Bay area, giving the inferno more life as it burns through businesses and homes.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the counties most at risk. The warning means conditions are critical.  Strong winds, relatively low humidity and warm temperatures can lead to extreme weather, the National Weather Service says.

The cause of the fires is under investigation.

Be the first to comment on "Eleven dead, thousands evacuated as wildfires tear through California wine country"

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.