Firefighters battled wind-whipped wildfires on Tuesday in California which have left at least 11 people dead, thousands homeless and ravaged the state’s famed wine country.
California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in three northern counties — Napa, Sonoma, and Yuba — and said thousands of firefighters had been deployed to fight the blazes.
Seven deaths were reported in Sonoma County, two in Napa County, one in Yuba County and one in Mendocino County and the governor said “emergency responders anticipate the number of fatalities could grow. Among the dead in Napa were a couple aged 99 and 100 years old who had been married for 75 years, KTVU-TV said. They were unable to evacuate their home in time.
The fires have burned more than 100,000 acres (40,500 hectares), forced the evacuation of more than 20,000 people and destroyed over 2,000 homes and businesses, according to the authorities.
Appealing Monday to President Donald Trump for federal aid, Brown said at least 18 fires had broken out in seven counties.
These fires have been extremely difficult to contain and many remain at zero percent containment,” he said. “The devastation and disruption caused by these fires is extraordinary. Thousands have been made homeless.