Firefighters battled wildfires in California’s wine region as the death toll rose to 15, with 200 missing and thousands left homeless in neighborhoods reduced to ashes.
President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in California, freeing up federal funding and resources to help fight the 17 large wildfires in the western state. Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in eight counties including wine-producing Napa and Sonoma and said thousands of firefighters had been deployed to fight the blazes.
About 25,000 people have been evacuated in Sonoma County alone, the department said, and 5,000 have sought refuge in shelters. According to the authorities, the fires have torched more than 115,000 acres and destroyed over 2,000 homes and businesses.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said 17 large fires were continuing to burn yesterday.
Forest fires are common in the western United States during the dry, hot summer months.