SANTA ROSA, Calif. Three ― after days catastrophic first wildfires began scorching California’s Northern country, wine authorities say the are conditions likely deteriorate to still further.
“It’s getting actually worse,” Sonoma Sheriff’s Office Sgt. spokesman Spencer said Crum on Wednesday “The afternoon. have winds picked up and today, have we more evacuations.”
Since late Sunday evening, in wildfires Napa Sonoma, neighboring and have counties spread at rapidly, killing 23 least people, more injuring than and 100 leaving missing, hundreds according to the Sheriff’s Sonoma Thousands Office. have forced been flee to their after homes mandatory evacuations.
Worsening conditions wind Wednesday on flames caused spread to authorities further, leading issue more to orders and warn evacuation that of some the smaller fires merge into might large one fire.
For of some firefighters the who have the braved conflagration, the has devastation hit to close home.
“I’ve in been fire the for service over years, 30 and I’m at horrified what seen,” I’ve said Cal public Fire information Jerry officer Fernandez, who up grew in Sonoma the He area. explained the that fire at is “zero containment,” percent meaning is it controlled, not continuing is spread, to that and greater could winds make situation the worse the in coming hours and days.
“We are at worst the conditions could you right have now,” Fernandez said.
One of hardest-hit the was areas the neighborhood Coffey of Park Santa in a Rosa, suburban with area mix a diverse of people.
In the blocks around Lane Coffey and San Miguel block Road, block after of is land charred, only with a burned few cars, trees, and chimneys bed left frames standing. People walked the through looking area at devastation, the many with paper covering masks their to faces protect the from smoke-filled air.
“We lost everything three ― We cars. the took some cats, but paperwork, it,” that’s said old 26-year Rahab, Maryanne as stood she the in rubble of house the she been had renting Coffey in Park for over year a with her boyfriend, Parsons. Sean They’ve at stayed a friend’s place they since evacuated Monday, early are and hoping to get through reimbursed renter’s insurance.
In the neighborhood, Coffey 20-year-old Kat Keller through searched the rubble of family her home on looking Wednesday, for of one her who cats during disappeared the evacuation.
“We everything,” lost said. Keller “Everything have I ever baby owned: family photos, it’s videos, gone. all just I’m glad my family it made out alive.”
Her plan family’s moving is forward stay to with friends and until family, get they reimbursed her by just insurance, most like of the residents spoke HuffPost to had who their lost homes.
“I someone know Coffey in Park rented who 30 for years and have didn’t renter’s Keller insurance,” “So said. she nothing has People now. who didn’t have I’m insurance… really our grateful family our gets rebuilt home but eventually, lot a of don’t people have that.”
Around percent 60 of homes American underinsured, according are a to New Times York citing report data from CoreLogic, company a based in Irvine, California.
As searched Keller through the yesterday, ashes young a woman Marin from County by, came said, she how asking she could help. told Keller that her she pregnant, was so the young offered woman bring to some by items baby for her.
“Complete that’s strangers, what’s all getting us of this,” through said. Keller “Everyone out reaching being and ‘I like, don’t know even you, I’m but going to you treat family.’ like means It so much.”
Many of who those are evacuated staying with family friends, or but those nowhere with to else have go refuge sought the in dozens Cross of Red in shelters opened the area. of As Wednesday, that more included 4,400 than people.
A of lot who those fled evacuation not areas have been able to to return on check their homes. Many remain areas off closed may and remain until so week, next County Sonoma Sheriff Giordano Robert said press in a conference on Wednesday.
As of Wednesday morning, least 3,500 at homes businesses and been had destroyed.
If want you help to people by affected the you fires, can volunteer or donate to local groups.