SONOMA, Calif. (AP/NBC News) — California’s fire chief says at least 1,500 homes and commercial buildings have been destroyed in wildfires that have ripped through the state’s wine country.
Officials say at least 10 people are dead due to the wildfires and at least 100 are injured. All figures were expected to surge in the coming days as more information is reported.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott say an estimated 20,000 people have been evacuated.
The fires have also forced evacuations at some hospitals, and all public schools are closed.
Pimlott says the fires are burning throughout an eight-county swath of Northern California, including Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties.
Those counties are included in a declared state of emergency from California Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday.
Most of the fires started about 10 p.m. Sunday night, according to Pimlott. Their causes are under investigation.
Firefighters are battling the blazes, but the main concentration is on saving lives.