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California Wildfires Kill 17, Homes and Businesses Burned
Thursday, 12 October 2017 02:42 WIB | GLOBAL |AmerikaKebakaran

Calmer winds and lower temperatures have helped thousands of firefighters in the western U.S. state of California make progress in battling a collection of wildfires that broke out across the state on Sunday.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection warned that breezy and dry conditions still pose a challenge, and that by late Tuesday the fires had burned more than 46,500 hectares.

By Wednesday authorities reported 17 deaths linked to the fires and said the flames had burned an estimated 1,500 homes and businesses.

Among the areas affected are Napa and Sonoma counties north of San Francisco that are home to dozens of wineries that draw tourists from around the world.

Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano said a team of people were working to locate nearly 200 people who were reported missing, and that there was a lot of confusion involved in trying to reunited people. He cited as an example that many people fled their homes without taking a phone charger and thus had difficulty contacting loved ones.

"This was so fast, there wasn't a lot of notice for a lot of people," he told reporters. "We are trying to keep people safe and get them out of the area."

State-wide tens of thousands of people have evacuated, with several thousand going to shelters.

Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in eight counties and thanked the federal government for a fast response in offering aid to the state.

Source: VOA News

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