10 people died in northern California after what officials are describing as an “unprecedented” wild fire that has already destroyed 1500 structures and devastated large swaths of wine country.
California’s governor, Jerry Brown, has declared a state of emergency in 8 mostly northern counties-Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Oarange, Sonoma and Yuba counties. The flames are barely contained and are threatening thousands of homes and vineyards in the wine country north of San Francisco.
Nine of the deaths occurred in Napa and Sonoma counties, while another was farther north, in Mendocino county, officials said. The wildfires, whipped by powerful winds early on Monday, sent residents on a headlong flight to safety through smoke and flames as homes burned. Around 20,000 people have been evacuated, including hundreds of senior citizens from local nursing homes.