Winds whip new ter­ror into deadly Cal­i­for­nia wild­fires

The Garden Island - - Morning Briefing -

Fueled by the re­turn of strong winds, the wild­fires tear­ing through Cal­i­for­nia wine coun­try ex­ploded in size and num­ber Wed­nes­day as au­thor­i­ties or­dered new evac­u­a­tions and the death toll climbed to 21 — a fig­ure ex­pected to rise higher still.

Three days af­ter the fires be­gan, firefighters were still un­able to gain con­trol of the blazes that had turned en­tire North­ern Cal­i­for­nia neigh­bor­hoods to ash and de­stroyed at least 3,500 homes and busi­nesses.

“We are lit­er­ally look­ing at ex­plo­sive veg­e­ta­tion,” said Ken Pim­lott, chief of the Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Forestry and Fire Pro­tec­tion. “It is very dy­namic. These fires are chang­ing by the minute in many ar­eas.”

The en­tire his­toric town of Cal­is­toga, pop­u­la­tion 5,000, was evac­u­ated. In neigh­bor­ing

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