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Three dead as multiple wildfires in California burn homes, prompt evacuations

Multiple blazes were burning out of control in Northern California on Monday, killing three people, destroying an untold number of homes and prompting thousands to evacuate in a state already battered by wildfires in recent months.

Eddy Whitmore evacuates from his Santa Rosa, Calif., home as the Shady Fire approaches on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020.Noah Berger / AP

In Shasta County, Sheriff Eric Magrini said that three people died after the Zogg Fire exploded in size, jumping from a few hundred acres Sunday afternoon to 15,000 less than 24 hours later.

Magrini did not provide additional details about the victims, saying that their next of kin still need to be notified. But he pleaded with residents to heed evacuation orders.

“This is fast-moving,” he said. “When you hear that order, evacuate immediately.”

According to the California Department of Fire and Forest Protection, or Cal Fire, the blaze, which ignited southwest of the city of Redding, had no containment on Monday afternoon.

Five hundred structures were threatened by the blaze, a CalFire spokesman said earlier. He added that reports of damaged and destroyed buildings have not been confirmed by the department.

North of the San Francisco Bay Area, in Napa and Sonoma counties, the Glass Fire rapidly scorched more than 36,000 acres and is zero percent contained, according to Cal Fire Division Chief Ben Nichols. It started early Sunday in Napa Valley and roared west overnight, merging with two other fires and burning through vineyards and buildings, fire officials said.

At least 8,500 structures are threatened by it, according to NBC Bay Area. No injuries or deaths have been confirmed, Nichols said, though Nichols said he’d heard reports of burned residents and injured firefighters.

State Sen. Bill Dodd, who represents the area, estimated that hundreds of homes, wineries and other

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Multiple wildfires in California burn homes, prompt evacuations

Multiple blazes were burning out of control in California’s wine country on Monday, prompting thousands to evacuate and scorching an untold number of homes and businesses in a state already battered by wildfires in recent months.

Image: Eddy Whitmore evacuates from his Santa Rosa, Calif., home as the Shady Fire approaches (Noah Berger / AP)
Image: Eddy Whitmore evacuates from his Santa Rosa, Calif., home as the Shady Fire approaches (Noah Berger / AP)

In Napa and Sonoma counties, the Glass Fire rapidly scorched 11,000 acres and is zero percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire. It started early Sunday in Napa Valley and roared west overnight, merging with two other fires and burning through vineyards and buildings, fire officials said.

At least 2,000 structures are currently threatened by it, according to NBC Bay Area. No injuries or deaths have been reported.

State Sen. Bill Dodd, who represents the area, estimated that hundreds of homes, wineries and other businesses were destroyed after the blaze exploded on Sunday night amid powerful winds and high temperatures.

“This was pretty devastating,” Dodd told NBC News after touring areas hit hard by the fire. “Just literally hundreds and hundreds of homes devastated with nothing standing.”

Among the well-known businesses that Dodd said burned were Calistoga Ranch, a luxury resort, and parts of Meadowood, a resort with a Michelin-starred restaurant. Also lost in the fire was the Château Boswell Winery in St. Helena, a family-owned winery founded in 1979.

The burned remains of Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley, Calif., on Sept. 28, 2020. (State Sen. Bill Dodd)
The burned remains of Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley, Calif., on Sept. 28, 2020. (State Sen. Bill Dodd)

“It was like a nuclear bomb went off,” Dodd said of Calistoga Ranch. “You couldn’t see anything green anywhere. It was just utter devastation.”

The blaze also made a run toward Santa Rosa, a city of nearly 175,000 in Sonoma County that lost hundreds of homes three years ago

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