SONOMA, California (AP) – California’s fire chief says at least 1,500 homes and commercial buildings have been destroyed in wildfires that have ripped through the state’s wine country.
He says numerous people have been injured and a number of residents are also missing as 14 large fires burn.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott say an estimated 20,000 people have been evacuated.
He called the estimates of destroyed structures very conservative. Pimlott says the fires are burning throughout an eight-county swath of Northern California, including Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties.
Pimlott said most of the fires started at about 10 p.m. Sunday and their causes are under investigation. He said firefighters are concentrating on saving lives rather than battling the blazes.
He didn’t have an estimate on the number of people hurt and missing.