Fires Continue To Devastate Northern California

The California fires in the Northern part of the state have devastated thousands. Many have been evacuated with no solid date of returning to their homes in sight. Dozens more have been burned out of their residences with only the ashes of what was once significant pieces of their lives remaining.

More than 21 people have died in the fires with the toll expected to rise as more than 200 residents in the region are still counted as missing.

Most of the devastation comes from Sonoma County where at least 11 people have been confirmed dead. At least three lives have been claimed in Mendocino County, and one person was pronounced dead in Yuba County as of Tuesday, October 10, 2017.

Vice President Mike Pence visited the fire-torn region on Tuesday with both condolences and news of the federal government’s support. The vice president informed the victims that President Trump approved a “major disaster declaration” for California in light of the fires.

“Our hearts and the hearts of every American go out to the families of the 13 who've lost their lives,” Pence said. “It's heartbreaking to think that many of the fallen represent our most vulnerable; in some cases senior citizens who simply were not able to escape the flames that overcame their homes,” the vice president continued. “They are in our prayers.”

A significant factor in the Northern California fires is the wind. The Tubbs fire, one of the more prominent blazes in the region, has burned more than 27,000 acres and continues to lead to smaller fires that pose threats to residences in various counties.

“Though our containment numbers haven’t gone up just yet, we’ve at least been able to hold these fires and keep them at their current acreage,” Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant tells the Los Angeles Times.

Such news offers little consolation to those whose homes are in direct danger of being destroyed. “Many of these fires, it’s going to take several more days, even potentially more weeks, before we have full containment,” Berlant admits.

At present, the Northern California fires mainly consist of the more massive Tubbs Fire and Atlas Peak Fire. Several pocket blazes have grown out of these large conflagrations.