"This is a once-in-a-career fire", he told the paper. Those conditions could erase modest gains made by firefighters. A colleague of mine was posting that so far it is the equivalent of four Vancouvers that have been affected by the fires.
Some people killed were asleep when flames engulfed their homes, fire officials said. While no homes were lost in the fire, a number of residents were evacuated when it started and quickly grew due to high winds. A few left behind cookies for firefighters and signs reading, "Please save our home!"
The 22 fires, many out of control, spanned more than 265 square miles as the inferno entered its fourth day.
In Calistoga, a historic resort town known for wine tastings and hot springs, 5,300 people were under evacuation orders. Strategic attacks that have curbed destruction and death tolls in recent years have not worked against the ferocity of the blazes.
"Make no mistake", he added later, "this is a serious, critical, catastrophic event". As the fires grow, officials voiced concern that separate blazes would merge into even larger infernos. "Once the conditions present themselves", Carson said. Countless emergency vehicles hurried toward the flames, sirens blaring, as evacuees sped away after jamming possessions into their cars and filling their gas tanks.
On Tuesday, another wildfire also torched a handful of homes in Southern California in the affluent Anaheim Hills neighbourhood in Orange County.
Wanting to assist their colleagues, the B.C. Wine Institute is encouraging local wineries to show their support.
On Thursday morning, air quality in the most of the region was as bad as Beijing, China's notoriously polluted capital, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Until now, the efforts have focused on "life safety" rather than extinguishing the blazes, partly because the flames were shifting with winds and targeting communities without warning.
John Van Dyke, standing in his pyjamas near the 101 Freeway in Santa Rosa, watched a hillside in flames from the Tubbs fire.
Fires were "burning faster than firefighters can run, in some situations", Emergency Operations Director Mark Ghilarducci said.
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