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Deadly wildfires ravage Northern California, threaten wine country

A firefighter looks for flammable items in an evacuated residential area as wildfires continue to burn Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Santa Rosa, Calif. (Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP)

Deadly wildfires ravage Northern California, threaten wine country

Thousands more Californians evacuated their homes on Saturday as fierce wildfires spread due to constantly shifting winds, and officials expected the official death toll of 35 to rise with hundreds of people still missing.

Sixteen major wildfires, some encompassing several smaller merged blazes, in areas north of San Francisco consumed nearly 214,000 acres (86,000 hectares) over seven days, or roughly 334 square miles, an area larger than New York City.

The 35 confirmed fatalities, including 19 in Sonoma County, make it the deadliest fire event in California history. Some 100,000 people have been forced from their homes, including 3,000 evacuated on Saturday from the city of Santa Rosa, about 50 miles (80 km) north of San Francisco, and another 250 from nearby Sonoma city. The fires have reduced many homes and businesses to piles of ash. (Reuters)

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