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Northern California wildfires: Emergency declared as 1500 structures burned


The Napa County Sheriff's Department blocked off several roads near the scene, including Green Island Road to help give firefighters easy access.

The blazes engulfed acreage in Sonoma and Napa counties as responders worked through the night to fight the fires.

Fourteen large-scale fires are now burning in the region, and Cal Fire has noted that the estimates with regards to the destruction are likely conservative.

Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Sonoma, Napa and Uva counties on Monday. But due to the high wind conditions and rapid expansion of the Tubbs Fire, and the conflagrations in multiple localities, today's fires are being compared to the Oakland Hills firestorm of 1991, which also broke out in October - and the full extent of the damages won't be known for days, at least.

"The sun is a pale yellow, that's how thick the smoke is", he said, adding that ash is floating in the air from one of the fires, which he estimated is about 30 miles away.

There have been several injuries, and some people have been reported missing.

McDowell Blvd.is open to fire evacuees from the fires in Sonoma and Santa Rosa. "The only thing we can do is hope the wind will come down", he said.

More than 200 people were hurriedly evacuated from Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital and Santa Rosa Medical Center, where the blaze could be seen raging nearby. Residents and businesses should evacuate immediately in the areas of Cross Creek Road, Sky Farm Drive, Saint Andrews Drive, all residences north Fountaingrove Parkway and Montecito Heights. Evacuations have been ordered along East Road, West Road, Tomki Road to Canyon Road in Willits, Golden Rule subdivision and Reeves Canyon. Windy and dry conditions were making it hard for firefighters to battle the blaze. There are more than eight counties now dealing with blazes.

There were also fires in other counties such as Lake and Mendecino. "This is where we've taken refuge, but with all this smoke, you don't want to be breathing that".

He later drove to Kaiser Permanente Hospital, where he works in environmental services, and began helping the hospital evacuate patients by moving gurney beds to the ambulances and city buses that were ferrying the patients to safety.

Ruttledge says she looked out her window and saw the mountain across the road on fire.

"My boyfriend went walking just for fun", DeLanoy said, "and I got a text message saying, 'Get out of there now". "Not until I can see my house".

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