Images show how wildfires are ravaging Northern California's wine country

Images show how wildfires are ravaging Northern California's wine country

Firefighters assess the scene as a house burns in the Napa region of California.

A score of wind-fueled wildfires broke out overnight in California's Sonoma and Napa counties, burning tens of thousands of acres, destroying 1,500 structures and causing residents to flee their homes and businesses. One fire-related death has been reported in Mendocino County, but the speed of these blazes suggests there are more to come.

A second fire burning near Calistoga also prompted evacuations from the area of Knights Valley in Sonoma County to Tubbs Lane in Napa Valley, the Napa County Sheriff's Office told NBC Bay Area.

The fast-moving fires have burned at least 44,000 acres, claiming at least one life, prompting Governor Jerry Brown to issue an emergency proclamation for Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties Monday.

"It was an inferno like you've never seen before", said Marian Williams, who caravanned with neighbors through flames before dawn as one of the wildfires reached the vineyards and ridges at her small Sonoma County town of Kenwood. The Santa Rosa fire has destroyed parts of a mobile home park, the well-known Fountaingrove Inn, and is threatening two hospitals. "This is traditionally California's worst time for fires, California's most damaging times for fires have occurred in October".

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The fires have closed 30 school districts in Sonoma County, as well as Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University. Three evacuation centers have been set up. The most similar event was the 2015 Valley Fire, which was centered in and around the Lake County town of Middletown, which killed four people and destroyed almost 2,000 structures.

Officials did not yet have a count on how many properties were affected, either by the fire directly or by evacuations, said Belia Ramos, chairwoman of the Napa County Board of Supervisors.

Fire officials say the Canyon Fire 2 is threatening nearby communities. She had fled so fast that she hadn't put on her shoes. "We are not prepared to start counting", she said shortly after sunrise. "Literally it's burning into the city of Santa Rosa. burning box stores", Pimlott said. He said it took firetrucks ages to arrive Monday morning.

"We were trying to get to the room and the fire was very close", Alfonzo said. The winds were expected to subside at midday.

"My boyfriend went walking just for fun", DeLanoy said, "and I got a text message saying, 'Get out of there now". The Sonoma County Fairgrounds is open for people with large animals; access the fairgrounds via Gate 7 on Aston Avenue.

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