Over16 deadly fires ravaged through Northern California’s wine country, destroying more than 1,500 homes and leaving at least 23 people as of Wednesday night according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.
Firefighters have been heroically battling the fires, which have grown with the return of dangerous high winds leading to more evacuations. Residents of Geyserville and Calistoga were ordered to leave the area as the fire continued to spread.
Santa Rosa and Napa city also issued evacuation notices to its residents. “The fire is not an imminent threat, but the conditions may change quickly,” Santa Rosa police said.
In Sonoma County, a search is being conducted by the sheriff’s deputies in order to track down over 250 people still missing.
The situation is only expected to get worse as the National Weather Service predicts strong wind gusts reaching up to 50 mph Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
“We’re not going to be out of the woods for a great many days to come,” said Cal Fire director Ken Pimlott.
Governor Jerry Brown said, “We’ve had big fires in the past. This is one of the biggest.”