>> Thousands more Californians forced to evacuate their homes Saturday, due to shifting winds and multiple wildfires across northern California. Already the deadliest fire event in California history, the death toll rising to at least 38 with hundreds more still missing. 16 major wildfires already consuming an area larger than New York City, forcing some 100,000 people from their homes in Sonoma County.
Reuters correspondent Heather Somerville.>> I've talked to many residents today who are trying to put the pieces back together after losing their home and most of what they own. There was a FEMA office set up yesterday in downtown Santa Rosa where a line of approximately 120 people waited outside under the sun and with the thick smoke to try to get some help.
Many residents had enough time to grab some clothes if that before fleeing.>> More than 10,000 firefighters battled blazes that have destroyed thousands of buildings. Those blazes paralyzing California's wine producing business and tourism industry with at least a dozen Napa Valley wineries impacted. Air tankers dropped more three hundred thousand gallons of fire retardant Friday, but ground crews losing gains after dry weather and fast blowing winds disrupted efforts on Saturday, sparking a new blaze in Lake County.
Officials estimating the fires would be contained by October 20th, but that could change due to changing wind conditions. Whole neighborhoods have been reduced to mountains of gray ash and smoldering debris. The blaze moving so fast, many survivors had minutes to flee, while some who have perished were asleep when the flames consumed their homes.
This year's wildfire season is considered one of the worst in US history, with close to 9 million acres burned.