California wildfires leave 15 dead and 183 missing

2 months ago kakp2 Comments Off on California wildfires leave 15 dead and 183 missing

In neighborhood after neighborhood, all that remains are the smoldering ashes and eye-stinging smoke from a day of utter devastation.

Newly homeless residents of California wine country took stock of their shattered lives Tuesday, a day after wildfires killed at least 15 people and destroyed more than 2,000 homes and businesses. Hundreds more firefighters joined the battle against the blazes, which were still completely uncontained.

Authorities also began to identify the dead, including a 100-year-old man and his 98-year-old wife who died in their burning home.

A thick, smoky haze cloaked much of Napa and Sonoma counties, where neighborhoods hit by the fires were completely leveled. In the Santa Rosa suburb known as Coffey Park, house after house was gone with only brick chimneys still standing. 

Northern California'a deadly wildfires have killed 15 and injured at least 100 (Pictured, Kim Graves, left, hugs her neighbor Susan Gaynard on Tueaday after they both lost homes during a wildfire in Sonoma County)

Northern California'a deadly wildfires have killed 15 and injured at least 100 (Pictured, Kim Graves, left, hugs her neighbor Susan Gaynard on Tueaday after they both lost homes during a wildfire in Sonoma County)

Northern California’a deadly wildfires have killed 15 and injured at least 100 (Pictured, Kim Graves, left, hugs her neighbor Susan Gaynard on Tueaday after they both lost homes during a wildfire in Sonoma County)

At least 183 people are missing and more than more than 2,000 homes and businesses have been destroyed (Pictured, Rhonda Readen, left, hugs her crying partner, Tim Shirley after they arrived on Tuesday to find their residence in the Fountaingrove area of Santa Rosa)

At least 183 people are missing and more than more than 2,000 homes and businesses have been destroyed (Pictured, Rhonda Readen, left, hugs her crying partner, Tim Shirley after they arrived on Tuesday to find their residence in the Fountaingrove area of Santa Rosa)

At least 183 people are missing and more than more than 2,000 homes and businesses have been destroyed (Pictured, Rhonda Readen, left, hugs her crying partner, Tim Shirley after they arrived on Tuesday to find their residence in the Fountaingrove area of Santa Rosa)

Firefighters have been working to get a control on at least 17 separate blazes since they broke out on Sunday (Picutred, Firefighters douse hot spots in the Coffey Park area of Santa Rosa)

Firefighters have been working to get a control on at least 17 separate blazes since they broke out on Sunday (Picutred, Firefighters douse hot spots in the Coffey Park area of Santa Rosa)

Firefighters have been working to get a control on at least 17 separate blazes since they broke out on Sunday (Picutred, Firefighters douse hot spots in the Coffey Park area of Santa Rosa)

Officials hope cooler weather and lighter winds will help control one of the deadliest fires in California history (Pictured, the remains of an Arby's restaurant is seen on Tuesday after burning down in Santa Rosa)

Officials hope cooler weather and lighter winds will help control one of the deadliest fires in California history (Pictured, the remains of an Arby's restaurant is seen on Tuesday after burning down in Santa Rosa)

Officials hope cooler weather and lighter winds will help control one of the deadliest fires in California history (Pictured, the remains of an Arby’s restaurant is seen on Tuesday after burning down in Santa Rosa)

The flames burned so hot that windows and tire rims melted off cars, leaving many parked vehicles sitting on their steel axles (Pictured, a view from inside a parked car destroyed by fire in the Coffey Park area of Santa Rosa)

The flames burned so hot that windows and tire rims melted off cars, leaving many parked vehicles sitting on their steel axles (Pictured, a view from inside a parked car destroyed by fire in the Coffey Park area of Santa Rosa)

The flames burned so hot that windows and tire rims melted off cars, leaving many parked vehicles sitting on their steel axles (Pictured, a view from inside a parked car destroyed by fire in the Coffey Park area of Santa Rosa)

The flames burned so hot that windows and tire rims melted off cars, leaving many parked vehicles sitting on their steel axles. The only recognizable remnants at many homes were charred washing machines and dryers.

Officials hoped cooler weather and lighter winds would help crews get a handle on 17 separate fires, which are among the deadliest in California history.

‘The weather has been working in our favor, but it doesn’t mean it will stay that way,’ said Brad Alexander, a spokesman of the governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

Devastating before and after pictures show the destruction wildfires have wrecked on Northern California’s world-renowned wine country.

In one photo, an historic round barn is set alight by flames in Santa Rosa, California. The Fountaingrove Round Barn was built in 1875 on Thomas Lake Harris’ Fountain Grove spiritual commune. It was designed by one of Harris’ followers, Kanawe Nagasawa, who later became famous for making the estate’s critically-acclaimed wines.

The fires also leveled a steak
house in Santa Rosa, and destroyed a Hilton hotel nearby. 

The Signorello Estate Winery was one of at least two wineries destroyed in the blaze. On Tuesday, melted and blackened wine bottles littered the winery in Napa Valley.  

Taken as a group, the fires are already among the 10 deadliest in California history, and the death toll is expected to rise.

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Devastating before and after pictures show the destruction wildfires have wrecked on Northern California’s world-renowned wine country. Above, the Santa Rosa Hilton

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The Fountaingrove Inn in Santa Rosa is seen burned to the ground in pictures after the fire swept through the area

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The Signorello Estate Winery was one of at least two wineries destroyed in the blaze. On Tuesday, melted and blackened wine bottles littered the winery in Napa Valley. 

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In one photo, an historic round barn is set alight by flames in Santa Rosa, California. The Fountaingrove Round Barn was built in 1875 on Thomas Lake Harris’ Fountain Grove spiritual commune. It was designed by one of Harris’ followers, Kanawe Nagasawa, who later became famous for making the estate’s critically-acclaimed wines

The fires that started Sunday night moved so quickly that thousands of people were forced to flee with only a few minutes of warning, and some did not get out in time. Among the victims were Charles and Sara Rippey, who were married for 75 years and lived at the Silverado Resort in Napa.

‘The only thing worse would have been if one survived without the other,’ their granddaughter, Ruby Gibney told Oakland television station KTVU.

In Washington, President Donald Trump said he spoke with Gov. Jerry Brown to ‘let him know that the federal government will stand with the people of California. And we will be there for you in this time of terrible tragedy and need.’

More than 400 miles away from the wine-making region, flames imperiled parts of Southern California, too. Thousands of people were displaced by a wildfire that destroyed or damaged 24 structures, including homes. Hot, dry Santa Ana winds swept fire along brushy outskirts of Orange County suburbs and equestrian properties southeast of Los Angeles. More than a dozen schools were closed.

The blaze, which disrupted major commuter routes, spread over nearly a dozen square miles in less than 24 hours as a squadron of helicopters and airplanes bombarded it with water and retardant, and an army of firefighters grew to 1,100 by Tuesday morning.

An army of firefighters grew to 1,100 by Tuesday morning (Pictured, Robyn, left, and Daniel Pellegrini search for belongings in the ashes of their home that was destroyed by fire in the Coffey Park area of Santa Rosa)

An army of firefighters grew to 1,100 by Tuesday morning (Pictured, Robyn, left, and Daniel Pellegrini search for belongings in the ashes of their home that was destroyed by fire in the Coffey Park area of Santa Rosa)

An army of firefighters grew to 1,100 by Tuesday morning (Pictured, Robyn, left, and Daniel Pellegrini search for belongings in the ashes of their home that was destroyed by fire in the Coffey Park area of Santa Rosa)

Mary Caughey, in blue, reacts with her son Harrison, left, after finding her wedding ring in debris at her home in Kenwood

Mary Caughey, in blue, reacts with her son Harrison, left, after finding her wedding ring in debris at her home in Kenwood

Mary Caughey, in blue, reacts with her son Harrison, left, after finding her wedding ring in debris at her home in Kenwood

Homeowner Martha Marquez looks over her burned home in Santa Rosa on Tuesday

Homeowner Martha Marquez looks over her burned home in Santa Rosa on Tuesday

Homeowner Martha Marquez looks over her burned home in Santa Rosa on Tuesday

Owner Rene Byck looks over remains of his Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa on Tuesday

Owner Rene Byck looks over remains of his Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa on Tuesday

Owner Rene Byck looks over remains of his Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa on Tuesday