California Fires – Deaths Mount as Inferno Rages

 In Domestic

At least 15 fires are raging across California at this writing, leaving death and destruction in their wake. The death toll has risen to over 11, with 1,500 structures burned, and is expected to rise further. People have lost homes, businesses, and animals. As of this morning, over 86,000 acres have been burned. Officials had to focus on evacuating people rather than saving structures because of the speed at which the fires developed.

Officials brought in a 747 jumbo jet to drop nearly 20,000 gallons of flame retardant on the fires that have burned nearly out of control since Saturday night. The Spirit of John Muir is the largest firefighting jet in the world, according to CNET.

At least 100 people so far have been treated for fire-related injuries, and at least 100 people are missing.

The Coffee Park neighborhood in Santa Rosa- before and after (screenshot via Twitter).

Santa Rosa’s Coffee Park neighborhood was completely destroyed as flames ripped through, leaving little time for evacuation. The city lost a K-mart, and untold numbers of businesses, homes,  and forced 200 patients at two city hospitals to evacuate.

The Tubbs Fire in Napa County is 0% contained at this time after burning 27,000 acres, and over 500 homes. Napa Valley Wine country has a $1 Billion per year industry that is threatened by the inferno. At least two wineries have been destroyed and others damaged.

The fire exploded through the regions with 50 mph winds, gobbling up everything in their path. The excessively dry conditions fueled major fires in 8 counties. Even Orange County to the south has a major fire burning that has forced 1000 residents to flee.

According to ABC, one family reported looting at their home in the midst of the fire.

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