California wildfire death toll rises to 23
The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office reported two more fire-related fatalities Wednesday, bringing the total number of deaths from the wildfires in Northern California to 23. Authorities have issued a mandatory evacuation notice for all residents in the the Northern Californian towns of Calistoga and Geyserville. The National Weather Service has issued red flag warnings, forecasting critical fire weather conditions across much of Northern California into Thursday. The area is expected to experience dry winds what could “rapidly spread current and new wildfire activity.” The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection estimated that 8,000 firefighters are currently battling 22 wildfires, which have burnt 17,000 acres of land, destroyed some 3,500 homes and structures and forced more than 20,000 people to evacuate.