More than a dozen wildfires raged across Northern California for the third straight day Tuesday, with the biggest ones scorching the state’s famous wine country, killing at least 11 people and forcing more than 20,000 people to evacuate, authorities said.
The largest fires were burning in California’s wine country destinations — Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties — with flames ripping through the lush, picturesque landscape.
Here’s what we know so far, according to California authorities.
• At least 11 people have died since Sunday night when most of the fires began. Seven deaths were reported in the city of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, two in Napa County, one in Mendocino County and one in Yuba County, according to officials.
• About 1,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed by the three largest fires in Northern California alone — in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant said Tuesday.
• More than 100 people were being treated at Napa- and Sonoma-area hospitals for fire-related injuries or health issues, including burns, smoke inhalation and shortness of breath.
• Wildfires were burning more than 119,032 acres in California as of Monday night.
• More than 100 phone calls have been made to Sonoma County’s missing persons hotline, the county said Monday.
• Fires have left more than 91,000 customers without power in the state, mostly in Northern California, said Pacific Gas and Electric Co. spokesman J.D. Guidi
• Most of the Northern California fires ignited Sunday night, driven by winds of more than 50 mph and dry conditions, Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott said Monday. The high winds led to “extreme rates of spread and volatile burning conditions,” according to Cal Fire.
• Firefighters in Northern California appeared to be getting a break from the weather Tuesday. Winds decreased throughout the area — 6 to 13 mph was forecast around Santa Rosa.
Winds may pick up Tuesday night, and again on Wednesday night, but they won’t be as strong as they were Sunday, the National Weather Service said. “Winds and the fire weather threat will decrease Tuesday in the north, but a threat will remain in Southern California,” the weather service Tuesday