670 people listed as missing in California wildfires

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Updated: October 11, 2017, 1:15

SONOMA, Calif. (AP) -- The Latest on wildfires in California (all times local):
10:35 a.m.
Sonoma County officials say 670 people are still listed as missing from fires in California wine country.

But Sheriff Robert Giordano said Wednesday that many of those people may have been found but have not yet updated a registry of missing people.

Desperate family members and friends are turning to social media with pleas for help finding loved ones missing from the 22 fires in Northern California.

It's unclear if some of those people are actually OK.

Authorities pleaded with previously missing people to mark themselves as safe on the registry and alert authorities.

Napa County Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht says many people are staying with somebody else and haven't checked in.
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9:30 a.m.
A California fire official says at least 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed by wildfires burning in Northern California wine country.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant says fire activity increased significantly overnight, destroying more buildings and leading to new mandatory evacuations in several areas.

Berlant said Wednesday that 22 wildfires are burning in Northern California, up from 17 on Tuesday.

Officials in Napa County say almost half of the population of Calistoga, a town of 5,000 people, has been ordered to evacuate. New evacuation orders are also in place for Green Valley in Solano County.

After a day of cooler weather and calmer winds, officials say low moisture and dangerous gusty winds will return to the region Wednesday afternoon, complicating firefighters' efforts.
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8:10 a.m.
The return of cooler weather and moist ocean air is helping an army of firefighters gain ground against a wildfire that has scorched more than a dozen square miles in Southern California.

Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi says the fire has laid down significantly Wednesday due to the marine layer and the work of more than 1,600 firefighters and a fleet of aircraft.

Concialdi says the blaze is 45 percent surrounded and full containment is expected by Saturday, but commanders are holding onto resources because of forecasts for another round of gusty winds and low humidity levels starting Thursday night.

Incomplete damage assessments have now tallied 15 structures destroyed and 12 damaged, including homes and outbuildings.

All evacuations have been lifted except for certain homes in the city of Orange.

The fire erupted Monday about 45 miles southeast of Los Angeles as warm, dry Santa Ana winds swept the region. The cause remains under investigation.
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6:45 a.m.
Animals from the Orange County Zoo are among evacuees returning home as crews get a handle on a Southern California wildfire that destroyed 14 buildings and damaged 22 others.

Evacuation orders were lifted Tuesday for thousands of people in Anaheim, Orange and Tustin. And more than 100 animals -- including small birds, mammals and reptiles -- were returned to the zoo within Irvine Regional Park, where flames roared on Monday.

Zoo officials tell the Orange County Register (http://bit.ly/2gcnFiK) that the remaining animals including bears and mountain lions will be brought back in the coming days.

The newspaper says the zoo had undergone an emergency drill a week before the fire, which helped the evacuation run as smoothly as possible.

Cooler, more humid air is helping firefighters tame that blaze in northern Orange County.
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6:30 a.m.
A wildfire tearing through California's wine country continues to expand unabated, prompting authorities to order more evacuations.

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday it ordered mandatory evacuations for several areas of Sonoma Valley after a blaze grew to 44 square miles (113 square kilometers).

After a day of cooler weather and calmer winds, officials say dangerous gusty winds will return to the region Wednesday afternoon, complicating firefighters' efforts.

The blaze in Sonoma County is one of a series of fires that flared up north of San Francisco on Sunday night and continue to burn with little to no containment. Seventeen people have died in the blazes, 11 of them in Sonoma County.

The fires have also left at least 180 people injured and have destroyed more than 2,000 homes and businesses.
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12:00 a.m.
Jose Garnica worked for more than two decades to build up his dream home that was reduced to ashes in a matter of minutes by the deadly firestorm striking Northern California.

Garnica's house was among more than 2,000 homes and business destroyed by the fires that have also killed 17 people.

He moved to the U.S. from Mexico more than 20 years ago, and after saving money from his steady job with a garbage company he fixed up his Santa Rosa house with new flooring and stainless steel appliances.

All of it burned early Monday when the fires broke out. But Garnica says he's still better off than when he came to America.

The fires have scorched large sections of the state's wine country.

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SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) -- The Latest on wildfires in California (all times local):
10:15 a.m.
A Northern California county is reporting two more people were killed by a blaze in their area, raising the total number of fatalities in the region's wildfires to at least 13.

Mendocino County Sheriff Thomas Allman said Tuesday the victims died in Redwood Valley, a town of 2,000 people. A person was reported killed in the same town on Monday.

Allman says some people refused to leave their homes in communities that were destroyed by a wildfire.

He says the sheriff's office and other law enforcement officials well go check those communities later Tuesday to hopefully find people who are safe.

Wildfires are burning in several areas in Northern California.
Authorities say at least 100 people have been injured, and as many as 1,500 homes and businesses destroyed.
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9:50 a.m.
A Northern California wildfire has destroyed about half of a Catholic high school and left some 620 students without school for the rest of the week.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/2xsJF0k) that the library, main office and portable classrooms of Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa are burned.

Principal Graham Rutherford estimated that up to 18 of the school's 35 classrooms are likely destroyed. He said the challenge now is to determine how to use the classroom space that remains.

Other schools in the area were also heavily damaged or destroyed.
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9:25 a.m.
An official has identified a couple killed when a blaze destroyed their Napa County home.

Napa County Sheriff John Robertson said Tuesday that 100-year-old Charles Rippey and his wife, 98-year-old Sara Rippey, died inside their home.

The couple's granddaughter, Ruby Gibney, told Oakland television station KTVU (http://bit.ly/2kCV4Vz ) on Monday that their home was quickly ravaged by the fire and they were unable to get out.

Gibney says they had recently celebrated 75 years of marriage.
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8:40 a.m.
State authorities are deploying more firefighters and law enforcement officials to areas devastated by wildfires raging in Northern California.

Brad Alexander, a spokesman of the governor's Office of Emergency Services, says hundreds more firefighters from throughout the state will join the fight Tuesday. He says California has also asked for fire crews from the U.S. Forest Service in Nevada.

The blazes burning in several counties were at zero percent containment Tuesday.

Alexander says more law enforcement officials will be sent to help with evacuations and guard against looting.
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7:30 a.m.
A Northern California official has confirmed that a person died trying to flee a blaze in Yuba County, bringing the total number of fatalities to 11.

Yuba County spokesman Russ Brown said Tuesday that the unidentified person was in a vehicle fleeing from the town of Loma Rica, ran off a back road and became trapped in the blaze.

Brown tells the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/2yduVRG ) that the person died early Monday.

Authorities on Monday confirmed seven fire-related deaths in Sonoma County, two in Napa County and one in Mendocino County.
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7:03 a.m.
A wildfire that has burned nearly a dozen square miles among Southern California suburbs is still just 5 percent contained and authorities say the thousands of people who evacuated will not be going home soon.

Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt says the fire remains a threat to about 3,500 Orange County homes Tuesday morning and neighborhoods might not open until Wednesday.

There's concern that the fire could spread into Cleveland National Forest.

The fire began Monday morning in the Anaheim Hills about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles and was rapidly spread by the region's notorious warm, dry and gusty Santa Ana winds.

The National Weather Service says those conditions should ease through the day.

The Orange County fire has destroyed two dozen structures, including homes and outbuildings.
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6:20 a.m.
Authorities say a new blaze is threatening homes near a Northern California city already battling unforgiving wildfires.

Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Summer Black says flames began coming over a ridge shortly after 11 p.m. Monday in an area bordering Santa Rosa's Oakmont neighborhood and Trione-Annadel State Park.

Black tells the Santa Rosa Press Democrat (http://bit.ly/2wLgBge ) that most of the Oakmont area was evacuated earlier in the day due to rampant wildfires.

Officials are asking anyone remaining to leave the area.
Firefighters are battling an onslaught of wildfires in Northern California that has ravaged wineries, rural towns and whole neighborhoods.

The city of Santa Rosa and its 175,000 residents felt much of the damage, with strip malls, business parks, hotels and subdivisions swallowed up by the fire.
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12:14 a.m.
A relentless onslaught of wildfires in Northern California is ravaging wineries, rural towns, and whole neighborhoods.

Authorities say at least 10 are dead, at least 100 are injured and at least 1,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed. All three figures were expected to surge in the coming days as more information is reported.

The city of Santa Rosa and its 175,000 residents felt much of the damage, with strip malls, business parks, hotels and subdivisions swallowed up by the fire.

Smaller towns and vineyards in wine country were also hard hit, their residents forced to flee.

Taken as a group, the fires are already among the deadliest in California history.