At least 10 people have been declared dead and more than 100 are reportedly missing after a spate of wildfires swept through northern California's wine country on Monday. Reports state that the wildfires have destroyed hundreds of homes and business and have compelled nearly 20,000 people to flee from their houses.
California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday declared a state of emergency for Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties, which encompass some of the state's prime wine-making areas. Brown later extended the emergency declaration and included for more northern California counties and Orange County in Southern California.
As for the missing, Communications director for Sonoma County Scott Alonso said that family and friends are scrambling to find their loved ones and have made incessant calls to a special hotline introduced for the situation.
Alonso said that it is possible that most of the missing people are safe but cannot be reached because of loss of mobile phone services at the moment.
Reports state that nearly 100 people have been injured in the wildfires, while two of them are in a critical state. Nearly fifteen of the injuries are described as moderate and the rest are minor.
Sonoma County has been the most affected in the wildfires, with nearly seven fire-related deaths conformed in the region, the sheriff department said. Two others reportedly died in Napa County and one more in Mendocino County, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire), Reuters reported.
Although details of how the victims died has not been made available, but KGO-TV in San Francisco, cited unnamed California Highway Patrol officials as saying that one of the victims was a blind, elderly woman who was found in the driveway of her home in Santa Rosa, a town in Sonoma County.
State officials said that two of the hospitals in Sonoma County were also forced to evacuate as the wildfire raged across the region.