>> The California Wine Country fires claiming at least 26 lives by Thursday, making it the state's deadliest wildfire event in over eight decades. And things could get worse, with hundreds still missing. Nearly two dozen blazes have scorched over 190,000 acres, an area nearly the size of New York City, destroying at least 3500 homes and buildings in its path.
Fire officials have said some of the victims were asleep when the fast-moving fires engulfed their homes before they could escape. And some bodies they found were no more than ash and bone.>> We have cadaver dogs up here that basically can scent bodies and help us find people.
>> But for the first time since the fire started on Sunday, officials saying they are starting to gain ground over the flames. Reuters' Noel Randewich is in Calistoga, Napa Valley, which was evacuated late Wednesday.>> Inside of Calistoga, it's pretty much abandoned except for police at checkpoints. Behind me you can see a house, there's nobody home.
But the owner, he's left a sprinkler on over his roof, clearly in an attempt to minimize the possibility of his house catching on fire.>> In Sonoma County alone, there were still 463 people listed as unaccounted for. But it's still unclear how many of them might be victims rather than evacuees who failed to alert authorities after fleeing their homes.
About 25,000 remain displaced, And the smoke from Napa and Sonoma have drifted over the San Francisco Bay Area, an hour drive south, leaving it in a haze and automobiles coated with ash.