Sun | Dec 17, 2017

More evacuations as gusty winds fan California wildfires

Published:Sunday | October 15, 2017 | 12:00 AM
A wildfire burns behind a winery yesterday in Santa Rosa, California.

SONOMA, California (AP):

Rising winds fanned the Northern California wildfires again yesterday, forcing hundreds more people to flee from their homes in the state's fabled wine country and destroying more buildings.

The winds kicked up several hours before dawn and pushed flames into the hills on the edge of Sonoma, a town of 11,000. An unknown number of structures were burnt to rubble in a rural area.

About 400 houses were evacuated as the fires threatened Sonoma and a portion of Santa Rosa that includes a retirement community that evacuated earlier this week, he said.

Winds gusting up to 40 mph were expected to continue throughout the day and into the evening.

Last Friday, firefighters reported their first progress in containing some of the blazes, but the renewed strength of the winds was testing the work that they accomplished.

The blazes have left at least 35 people dead and 5,700 homes and businesses destroyed, making them the deadliest and most destructive series of wildfires California has ever seen.