Northern California has been engulfed in flames for days from at least a dozen fires whipped into uncontrollable infernos by hurricane force wind gusts.
Seventeen people have died thus far, and more then 180 are missing. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency and released federal aid for the area Tuesday. At least 20,000 people are under a mandatory evacuation order and thousands of homes and businesses have been burned to the ground, CNN reports.
“This has been one of the deadliest weeks for fires that we’ve experienced in recent time,” Cal Fire assistant deputy director Daniel Berlant said, according to the Washington Post.
This round of wildfires has torched more than 190 square miles. Victims have started returning to their houses and neighborhoods to find, at best, empty husks of cars and houses. Many places ravaged by fire have been completely turned to ash.
“These fires came down into neighborhoods before anyone knew there was a fire in many cases,” Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said. “This is just pure devastation and it’s going to take us a while to get out and comb through all of this.”
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