Wine Country Fires Intensify: 68-Mile-per-Hour Diablo Winds, 11 Dead; 100 Missing

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
By Paul Martin

10 Oct 2017

California has 64 active fires burning across the state, with the worst devastation caused by the seven major Wine Country fires, fueled by 68-mile-per-hour Diablo winds that have burned 94,000 acres, killed 11 people, and destroyed at least 2,000 homes and businesses.

Overnight Diablo winds with very low “dew points” funneled down mountain passes and canyons to cause 15 new fires north of the San Francisco Bay.

Tens of thousands of Wine Country residents were forced to flee their homes overnight. The fires now cover 50 square miles. Despite the heroic efforts of firefighters and police to move people to safety, Sonoma County authorities report that another 100 people are now currently listed as “missing.”

Governor Jerry Brown has declared a State of Emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Yuba Counties. The move mobilizes the California National Guard and allows all state agencies to employ state personnel and make emergency expenditures in support of county and local needs.

State statutes, rules, regulations and requirements regarding the removal, storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste and debris resulting from the fires are also suspended.

The Trump administration is monitoring the situation and has directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to approve federal fire assistance grants. It has also committed to offering other public assistance to help the county and city governments when they are ready to rebuild.

CalFire’s latest update is tracking 64 major fires stretching from the 6,000-acre Canyon 2 Fire in Orange County, which began yesterday, to the 38,600-acre Miller Complex in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, which has been burning since August 14.

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