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Deadly And Vast California Wildfires Could Gain Momentum

Deadly And Vast California Wildfires Could Gain Momentum

Jose Garnica worked for more than two decades to build up his dream home that was reduced to ashes in a matter of minutes by the deadly firestorm striking Northern California. But in that same time, wildfires can rapidly grow out of control.

"The devastation is enormous", he said.

Those destructive flames raced across the wine country of Napa and Sonoma counties and the coastal beauty of Mendocino further north, leaving little more than smoldering ashes and eye-stinging smoke in their wake.

Wildfire evacuees have set up tents and campers next to Sonoma Raceway, an auto racetrack supplying them with food, water, bathrooms and other necessities, the Associated Press reported.

"We are extremely lucky that our sister winery, Madrone Estate at Valley of the Moon is still standing, however many of their neighbours were not so fortunate", said Tony Stewart, proprietor of Quails' Gate Winery in Kelowna.

"We are literally looking at explosive vegetation", Pimlott said.

"For us being so far away, but intrinsically linked by the industry, we want to do something", said Markin.

Officials were concerned that the many separate blazes would merge into larger infernos.

Local animal shelters, which are helping people keep their pets safe, also need financial support: Humane Society of Sonoma County: sonomahumane.org, Humane Society of Napa County: napahumane.org, and Yuba-Sutter SPCA: yubasutterspca.org.

Helicopters and air tankers were assisting thousands of firefighters trying to beat back the flames.

Having just finished the Teanaway Fire northeast of Cle Elum on Tuesday, the 20-member Ahtanum hand crew left for Northern California early Thursday morning, said state Department of Natural Resources spokesman Joe Smillie. Until now, the efforts have focused on "life safety" rather than extinguishing the blazes, partly because the flames were shifting with winds and targeting new communities without warning. North Bay fires prompt evacuations, road closuresThe recovery in Santa Rosa for Dana Hansen begins in San Pablo.

In Southern California, cooler weather and moist ocean air helped firefighters gain ground against a wildfire that has scorched nearly 14 square miles.