Wildfires have been flaming throughout Northern California, killing at least 11 people and torching over 100,000 acres throughout Northern California. Aside from 11 people being announced dead, over 150 have been reported missing. Heavy winds continued to fan the flames of the fire. It is expected that death and missing tolls will continue to rise.
According to the New York Times, more than 100 people have been taken to the hospital. All of the fires have remained active throughout Sonoma and Napa counties.
Firefighters are now hoping for reprieve Tuesday mornings as strong winds begin to weaken. In particular, winds seem to have slowed to single-digit speeds, which is notably down from the 60 miles per hour gusts reported on Monday.
“That’s given us a good opportunity to make progress on these fires,” said Daniel Berlant, the assistant deputy director for Cal Fire. “We’re hoping to continue to see less wind and cooler temperatures. That combination is a welcome sight compared to what we dealt with just 24 hours ago.”
Currently, firefighting crews are trying to put out 17 wildfires that have destroyed at least 1,500 homes and commercial buildings throughout several Northern California counties. More than 20,000 people have fled to safety.
On Monday, officials wrote a letter to President Trump seeking federal emergency aid. Even Democratic officials who have been public critics of Trump, such as Governor Jerry Brown (D), have officially requested aid.
The Washington Post, quoting the letter, claims Brown was "determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that an effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments and supplemental federal assistance is necessary."
Recent Northern California fires, which flamed to devastating levels on Sunday night, have contributed to a very severe fire season in the Western United States. More than 8 million acres have burned throughout several states. Recent wildfires have burned more than 73,000 acres by Monday evening.
Firefighters on Tuesday planned to continue their containment strategy, using bulldozers to cut down trees, brush, and other material that might easily catch fire. Crews have also been using shovels and chainsaws to create clear lines, depriving the fire of the material it needs to feed. On the ground, firefighters have been aided by helicopters pouring water on hot spots.
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