At least 10 people have died in Parts of California’s wine region due to a fire outbreak. A state of emergency was declared in northern areas after mass evacuations, with 1,500 properties destroyed.
About 20,000 people fled from Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties in response to some the state’s worst-ever wildfires.
Such fires are more common in southern California but a combination of dry weather and strong winds has fuelled the destruction in the north. Fifteen fires were burning across eight Californian counties
“These fires have destroyed structures and continue to threaten thousands of homes, necessitating the evacuation of thousands of residents,” Governor Jerry Brown said, declaring the emergency.
There is little sign the weather in the coming days will bring relief to firefighters, BBC Weather says. More tinder dry conditions are forecast, with no rain expected.
Meanwhile, in southern California, a separate wildfire burnt 24 homes or other buildings in the wealthy Anaheim Hills area of Orange County, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate.
Details of how the seven people died in Sonoma were not immediately available but country sheriff Rob Giordano said he expected the death toll to rise.
“There is a lot of burned homes and a lot of burned areas, so it’s just logical that we’re gonna find more people,” he said.
Two people also died in Napa county and one in Mendocino county when thousands of acres burned in one valley.
Dozens of vineyard workers were reportedly airlifted to safety overnight.