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Elham AbolFateh

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California fires: 31 killed; weather stays dry

Friday 13/October/2017 - 08:43 AM
Sada El Balad
The misery and heartbreak caused by the one of the deadliest wildfire outbreaks in California's history aren't going to end anytime soon، officials said Thursday، CNN reported.
"We're not even close to being out of this emergency،" Mark Ghilarducci، the director of California's Office of Emergency Services، said Thursday afternoon.
The fires that are devastating Northern California have killed 31 people، according to Cal Fire، making it one of the deadliest series of fires ever in the state.
The largest of the group of 21 fires are still burning with little containment، and the weather has not helped the thousands of firefighters battling those deadly blazes and new ones that pop up each day.
"We are a long way from being done with this catastrophe،" Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott said. The fires were burning erratically Thursday، he said.
Authorities were concerned about new Red Flag warnings that said winds were going to pick up this week.
The good news was that reinforcements are coming from across the state and the country، Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann said.
Both factors are "starting to give us the upper hand، allowing us to actually... (get) some containment started in certain areas،" he said.
Still، the biggest fires were huge challenges. The 40،000-plus acre Atlas Fire in Napa and Solano counties was just 3% contained and the 34،000-acre Tubbs Fire in Napa and Sonoma was only 10% under control.
Fires have ravaged Northern California's wine country since Sunday night، destroying at least 3،500 structures and leading to scores of missing-person reports، authorities said. At least 400 people are reported missing in Sonoma County alone، where a fire wiped out thousands of homes in Santa Rosa، a city of about 175،000 people roughly 50 miles northwest of San Francisco.
Sleep-deprived، soot-covered firefighters are working to contain the wildfires، even as some of their own homes have been hit.

edited by: Basant Ahmed

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