Deadly California wildfires flare up and swallow more homes
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — Wildfires tearing through California wine country flared up again Wednesday, destroying hundreds more homes and other buildings and leading to new evacuation orders as authorities raised the death toll to 21 and warned that the number would rise.
At least 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed since the wildfires started Sunday, making them the third deadliest and most destructive blazes in state history.
Nearly three days after the flames ignited in Northern California, firefighters were still unable to gain control of the blazes, which were growing in number. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant said 22 wildfires were burning, up from 17 on Tuesday.
Flames have raced across the wine-growing region and the scenic coastal area of Mendocino farther north, leaving little more than smoldering ashes and eye-stinging smoke in their wake.