The following is an excerpt from THOMAS FULLER, JONAH ENGEL BROMWICH and DANIEL VICTOR | October 9, 2017 | Nytimes.com |
SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Fast-moving wildfires raged across Northern California on Monday, killing at least 10 people, forcing the evacuation of up to 20,000 and destroying well over 1,000 buildings in one of the most destructive fire emergencies in the state’s history.
Firefighters were battling blazes in eight counties, officials said.
In Santa Rosa, the fire gutted a Hilton hotel and flattened the Journey’s End retirement community, a trailer park not far from the freeway that crosses the city. Most of the trailers were leveled, leaving a smoldering debris field of household appliances, filing cabinets and the charred personal effects of more than 100 residents. Pieces of ash fell like snowflake flurries, and a pall of white smoke across the city blotted out the sun.
Janet Upton, a deputy director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said that at least 15 separate fires across the region had destroyed an estimated 1,500 homes and businesses and had burned over 73,000 acres since late Sunday night. Ten people have been killed, she said: seven in Sonoma County, two in Napa County and one in Mendocino County.
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