Wine Country Fires Continue To Claim More Lives and Property

Wildfires continued to rage through wine country in Northern California on Wednesday, destroying more structures and causing more people to be evacuated as authorities put the death toll at 23. On Monday at least 285 people were missing in Sonoma County. Originally, 600 people had been reported missing but officials now confirmed that 315 had been found. Around 3,000 structures had been laid to waste including businesses, wineries, and homes.
A Status Report On The Wildfire
Three days since the wildfire erupted in North California, firefighters have still not been able to control the flames which are growing in number. According to a statement by Daniel Berlant, the spokesman of the "California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection", as of Wednesday, there were 22 wildfires wrecking havoc in the county.
On Tuesday evening, a wind advisory was issued with winds of over 50mph expected to aggravate the impact of the fires on Wednesday. The winds are likely to down more trees and cause more power outages.
Over 240 members of California's National Guard have been called in to help transport fuel to responders because most of the gas stations are without power. The guard members have also been helping with medical evacuations and providing security at evacuation points. Apart from causing power outages, the blazes have damaged 77 cellular sites and disrupted communication services.
A smoky haze hangs above Napa and Sonoma counties, where a majority of the neighborhoods had been leveled by the flames. Although authorities warned residents to stay away from their homes for safety reasons, including the risk of unstable structures, trees, and exposed gas and electrical lines, many people risk life and limb to search for their loved ones in the wreckage.
Federal Government's Response To The Wild Fires
In Washington DC, President Donald Trump said he had spoken with the Governor of the area, Jerry Brown, to assure him that the federal government would offer its support to the residents of California. The government declared these series of incidences a national disaster to ensure that the state received all the help required to end this fire menace.
Orange County Joins The Party
A few miles away, Orange County was also encountering its share of fire incidences. Thousands had been displaced by a wildfire that set ablaze 15 structures including residential areas. The hot Santa Ana winds blew fire across the Orange County Suburbs and the surrounding areas. The blaze disrupted main commuter routes and had spread in over a dozen square miles in a span of 24 hours. Capt. Steve Concialdi from the Orange County Fire Authority said that they expected the fire to be contained by Saturday.
So far, authorities have not cited any reason for the occurrence of so many fires at the same time. Apart from the windy conditions that are helping them spread, there is no other plausible connection between the fires.

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