California wildfires: Death toll climbs to 31

Trees burn on the edges of a vineyard in Santa Rosa, California, October 11, 2017Image copyright

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Fire crews battled to stop flames reaching in which vineyard in Santa Rosa

The number of people confirmed dead in wildfires sweeping northern California has climbed to 31, as officials warned in which conditions could worsen.

Hundreds of people remain missing as at least 22 fires rampaged across the state’s famous wine country.

More than 8,000 firefighters are at in which point battling the flames.

The wildfires have destroyed more than 3,500 buildings as well as also also homes over 170,000 acres (68,800 hectares) as well as also also displaced about 25,000 people.

Seventeen people are at in which point confirmed killed in Sonoma County, with another eight in Mendocino County, four in Yuba County as well as also also two in Napa County, officials said.

The updated casualty figures mean the wildfires are the deadliest in California since 1933, when 29 people died in fires at Griffith Park in Los Angeles.

Strong winds in which have fanned the flames eased in recent days, although forecasters warned they were set to pick up again on Friday night.

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Media captionCalifornia districts wiped out by wildfires

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Prison inmates have been called in to help fight the fires

“We are not even close to being out of in which emergency,” Mark Ghilarducci, state director of emergency services, told reporters.

State fire chief Ken Pimlott warned of “erratic, shifting winds all weekend”.

Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano said recovery teams with cadaver dogs were searching the smouldering ruins of homes.

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“We have found bodies in which were completely intact, as well as also also we have found bodies in which were no more than ash as well as also also bone,” he said.

the item is actually not yet clear what commenced the fires on Sunday night, although officials say power lines blown over by strong winds could be the cause.

One of the greatest threats to life is actually believed to be around the town of Calistoga, Napa County, where the entire population of 5,000 has been ordered to evacuate.

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Only chimneys remain standing in fire-ravaged districts of Santa Rosa

Geyserville, a town of around 800 people, as well as also also the community of Boyes Hot Springs, both in Sonoma, were also evacuated.

The huge fires have sent smoke as well as also also ash over San Francisco, about 50 miles away, as well as also also over some towns as well as also also cities even further south.


Slide the button to see how a Santa Rosa community was devastated


Google satellite image of Coffley Lane area of Santa Rosa after fire


Google satellite image of Coffley Lane area of Santa Rosa earlier in 2017

At least 13 Napa Valley wineries have been destroyed, a vintners’ trade group says.

Cannabis plantations in fire-scorched Mendocino County could lose millions as many are uninsured, according to Nikki Lastreto of the local industry association.

Marijuana farmers cannot insure their businesses since federal law bans the drug.

Though recreational cannabis was legalised inside the state in 2016, California’s retail market does not open until next January.

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