1 dead as destructive wildfires torch California wine country

Ross Houston
October 11, 2017

And this year's harvest in Napa and Sonoma was almost complete, .

"The body (yet to be recovered) was found in an area that was too hot to enter", Giordano said at a news conference this afternoon outside the sheriff's office not far from a fire still burning near the Fountaingrove area of Santa Rosa.

The reports have come via calls to a hotline the county set up for the missing, according to Scott Alonso, communications director for Sonoma County. Missing person reports continue, Giordano said.

Disneyland is awash in an orange glow, but it isn't an imagineering trick: A wildfire is burning miles away in the Anaheim Hills, KABC reported. The smaller Nuns Fire, in Sonoma, was at 5,000 acres by about midday, officials said.

Giordano was selected sheriff after Steve Freitas retired in August for health reasons.

At least 15 people are confirmed dead and more than 1,500 homes have been destroyed by the fires which broke out on Sunday.

Seven deaths were reported in Sonoma County, two in Napa County, one in Yuba County and one in Mendocino County and the governor said "emergency responders anticipate the number of fatalities could grow".

The Hilton Hotel in Santa Rosa said on Facebook that its staff and guests were all safe.

Some vintners didn't have details about damage because they'd been evacuated and couldn't yet return to their properties, Mr Rannekleiv said.

Those flames were also fanned on Monday by powerful winds sweeping through California's wine country. One hillside home remained unscathed while a dozen surrounding it were destroyed. He said the power went out around 1 a.m., and he and his colleagues started packing up when someone knocked on the door and told them to run.

"It's going to be a waiting game to see, when it's all said and done, what the impact is, but we're not just talking about the vines".

Governor Brown in April declared the official end of the state's drought that lasted more than five years. "I barely have left the house under safety advisement, which in the downtown has been to stay put and watch for evacuation notices", he says.

Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa treated about 50 patients, mostly for minor injuries and smoke inhalation.

October has generally been the most destructive time of year for California wildfires.

Other than the windy conditions that helped drive them all, there was no known connection between the fires, and no cause has been released for any of them.

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Vice-President Mike Pence, who is visiting California, said at an event near Sacramento that the federal government stands with California as it takes on the blazes, but he made no specific promises.

The smoke was coming from Canyon Fire 2 as it tore through 4,000 to 5,000 acres of land near Orange County, Calif., Anaheim Fire & Rescue tweeted on Monday.

Other reports by iNewsToday