Over 560 People Missing, 21 Killed As California Wildfire Devours Neighborhoods
Wildfires Destroy Lives In Northern California
Santa Rosa, CA – Over 560 people have been reported missing, 21 people have been killed, and over 2,000 structures have been destroyed as wildfires rage in northern California.
The fires have continued on towards the populated areas of Sonoma County, prompting more evacuations.
Misti Harris, a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, said that deputies were “running toward the fire, banging on doors, getting people out of their houses,” according to The Washington Post.
Deputies have been unable to reach areas in the hot zone and over 560 people are unaccounted for. It’s not clear at this time if those people were killed or are simply unable to contact their family members.
The evacuation zones are remaining off limits to limit looting. Three people have been arrested in the evacuation zone, but it’s not clear if they were actively looting at the time of their arrest.
Over 25,000 people have fled from the seven counties north of San Francisco, with many of those people being forced to leave everything behind. It could be weeks before they are allowed to return to their homes.
In addition to the loss of homes, many of the vineyards that provide for California’s wine industry have been destroyed.
Over 80 cell towers have been destroyed as well, shutting down much of the communication in the area.
The exact cause of the fires is still unknown. Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said that the chance that the fire started naturally was “minimal.”
“This is just pure devastation and it’s going to take us a while to get out and comb through all of this,” he said, according to The Washington Post.
You can see a deputy driving through the fire zone below: