California wildfires: 10 killed, 1,500 buildings destroyed

California wildfires: 10 killed, 1,500 buildings destroyed

Massive wildfires raged across Northern California, killing at least 10 people, forcing up to 20,000 to evacuate and destroying over 1,500 buildings in one of the most destructive fire emergencies in the US states history.

Firefighters were battling blazes in eight counties on Monday since they started on late Sunday night fanned by wind gusts of more than 50 miles an hour, reports The New York Times.

In Santa Rosa city, the fire gutted a Hilton hotel and flattened a trailer park community.

Most of the trailers were levelled, leaving a smouldering debris field of household appliances, filing cabinets and the charred personal effects of more than 100 residents.

Janet Upton, a Deputy Director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said that at least 15 separate fires across the region had burned about 94,000 acres.

The victims comprised seven from Sonoma county, two from Napa county and one from Mendocino county, she added.

The property damage, already among the worst seen in a fire in California, was expected to increase. Santa Rosa authorities imposed a curfew starting at sunset, The New York Times reported.

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