Earlier today, it was reported that no one had been killed or injured in the raging fires in Northern California. Latest reports, sadly, say that one person has died in the fire in Mendocino County.
AP says that numerous others are missing or injured. At this time, they do not know how many.
There are more than a dozen wildfires in California at the moment. More than 20,000 people have been forced to evacuate, and at least 1,500 homes and businesses have burned.
However, AP added that California’s fire chief calls the damage estimate “conservative.” There are fires in an eight-county swath, and there’s likely to be more destruction.
In addition to the 20,000 people forced to leave their homes, more are without electricity. The spokesperson for Pacific Gas & Electric said 114,000 customers are currently without power.
Santa Rosa has been hit the hardest. They’ve lost businesses, homes, a hotel, and had their schools and hospitals closed.
Santa Rosa, the largest city in the fire area with a population of about 175,000, was hit hard. The city lost a Kmart and unknown numbers of other businesses and homes, as the blaze shut down its schools and forced patients at two city hospitals to evacuate. A Hilton Hotel was smoldering and in ruins.
“Imagine a wind-whipped fire burning at explosive rates. This is 50 miles per hour. Literally, it’s burning into the city of Santa Rosa ... burning box stores,” said Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott. “This is traditionally California’s worst time for fires, California’s most damaging times for fires have occurred in October.”
Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann added that the fire has burned more than 68 square miles. Currently, it is heading toward downtown Napa.
“Right now, with these conditions, we can’t get ahead of this fire and do anything about the forward progress,” Biermann said.
In Sonoma County, John Dean, as he was driving home, had to witness his home on fire. As he drove up the road, he saw other homes on fire.
“I mean blazing, falling down on fire,” he said.
Dean alerted neighbors about the fire and then evacuated. He was one of the hundreds who ended up a 24/7 Safeway that night.
“The National Weather Service said widespread wind gusts between 35 mph and 50 mph were observed in the north San Francisco Bay region and isolated spots hit 70 mph. The winds were expected to subside at midday,” reported AP.
There are also fires in Anaheim, California. Aerial footage from ABC News shows houses in the area going up in flames.
There are also mandatory evacuations in place for that Southern California wildfire. There’s no news on how any of the fires started.
Please pray for California; all those people who will lose their homes, businesses, and possibly lives.
In other news, Bethany Hamilton and her husband just announced they're expecting their second child. See the adorable way their two-year-old Tobias announced the pregnancy.