Sheriff drives through hellish landscape during California wildfires


That said, McLean added that the wildfires, which had killed at least 23 people spanning eight counties in Northern California's wine country, were still "volatile" on Thursday morning and no one should be "complacent". But electric wires knocked down by those same winds may have sparked the conflagration, according to Daniel Berlant, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).

With 21 wildfires now burning in California, agencies throughout the state are pouring assistance into the devastated areas, and four strike teams and a bulldozer from this county are among them, said Mike Eliason, public information officer for Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

It started in Napa County near Calistoga, but is the fire that is responsible for raving the city of Santa Rosa, the county seat of Sonoma County. The ferocity of the flames was captured in a video released by the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, showing a deputy driving through Franz Valley Road, near where a raging fire entered from Napa County. Conditions eased somewhat Tuesday - but the National Weather Service says high winds could return to the area beginning late Wednesday night, with gusts over 50 miles per hour.

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More than 122,000 acres have burned in more than a dozen fires in the state.

Taken as a group, the fires are already among the 10 deadliest in California history, and the death toll is expected to grow.

First Baptist Church in Clearlake, Calif. - where fire has destroyed more than 100 homes and blackened the landscape - has helped feed and find lodging for three families in the congregation that were displaced.

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Mike Bivins, CSBC disaster relief coordinator, said DR units are ready as soon as state officials call them to assist in the recovery effort.

One mixed team, led by a County Fire battalion chief and a strike team trainee, is made up of an engine from County Fire, two from Santa Barbara city, one from Carpinteria/Summerland and one from Montecito.

Smoke from various wildfires is seen in Sonoma Valley along Highway 12 during the Tubbs Fire in Sonoma. "Our churches are just trying to figure out how to be as helpful as they can". "The fire is close, very close", Hammer said. They meshed like gears to pull dry air and high winds into northern California, Anderson said. In Mendocino County, the Redwood Complex Fire was at 21,000 acres with no containment level. Appealing yesterday to President Donald Trump for federal aid, Governor Brown said the "devastation and disruption caused by these fires is extraordinary".

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Among those who lost their homes in Santa Rosa: Paula McCallister, who had moved to the area along with her husband less than a year ago. Still, they said it was a relief to see their house spared.