Loss Of Property And Life Growing As Fires Continue To Rage Across California

Northern California has been gutted in structure and landscape and by the loss of ten lives due to the continued raging fires on Monday. The LA Times reports more than 1,500 homes and other structures have been destroyed across eight counties.

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency as 73,000 acres have been scorched. This is reported to possibly become the worst rage of fires California has ever seen and they continue to rage on Tuesday morning, with thousands of firefighters battling the flames in attempts to contain the spread.

One resident fleeing the fire said she witnessed what appeared to be an entire town burning as they drove by towards safety. As of Tuesday morning, 100 people have called fire departments trying to locate missing loved ones and there have been more than 100 people treated for burns and smoke inhalation thus far in Sonoma County.

One of the poignant stories being told Tuesday morning is of an elderly couple, 100-year-old Charles, and ninety-nine-year-old Sara who had been married 75 years and have died together in their home on Atlas Peak Road. In the surge of fire that spread over Napa, they were unable to get out and though their loss is devastating to their family, the couple's granddaughter says for one to go without the other would have been more devastating to them.

The loss of property and life will continue to rise the longer the fire burns on. Firefighters say this is the deadliest time of year for California when they are prone to extremely dry conditions and Diablo winds which can kick up to 70 mph. Both are factors in the spread and inability to contain the fires which rapidly get out of control.

The deadliest fire in California history was in Oct 1991 when a small brush fire in the backyard of an Oakland suburb quickly spread its hot embers across the dry brush. The fire spread through the hills and canyons of Berkeley and ended up killing 25 people and destroying 1,520 acres. The temperatures of the fire reached approximately 2,000 degrees, destroying more than 2,500 homes and costing $1.5 billion in damage.

It's been reported that the firestorm has also claimed historical landmarks in Santa Rosa. The Fountaingrove Inn's whose website has gone dark after reporting that they are no longer able to provide service, Sections of the Burbank Center for The Arts, and a Santa Rosa fire station have also become victims.