Death toll hits 40 in California wildfires; thousands find homes destroyed

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Here's a rundown of some of the largest fires, as of Wednesday morning: In Sonoma and Napa counties, the Tubbs fire is at 28,000 acres with no containment level cited. Newly homeless residents of California wine country took stock of their shattered lives Tuesday, a day after deadly wildfires destroyed homes and businesses.

Wildfires already well on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history could gain momentum Thursday and erase even the modest gains firefighters have made.

BRANDON TOLP: The fire is just jumping around all over the place. But some have stayed behind.

At least five wineries belonging to members have had "complete losses" in facilities, with another nine reporting some damage, said Michael Honig, board chairman of the Napa Valley Vintners trade association and president of Honig Vineyard & Winery.

Real recovery would have to wait for firefighters to bring under control the 21 wildfires spanning more than 300 square miles (777 square kilometers). The 50,000-plus Atlas fire in Napa and Solano counties was 56% contained as of Sunday - up from 3% three days earlier.

Humidity levels in the threatened areas will dip to the low teens and single digits in some areas.

California has declared a state of emergency, and federal aid is being given to the regions affected by this tragedy.

In Santa Rosa, Penny Wright tearfully walked through the debris of where her home once stood.

"It's acrid now", said Wayne Petersen in Sonoma. "I just drove by hundreds of houses that were totally destroyed", Brown said during a news conference at Santa Rosa High School on Saturday afternoon.

Shifting his focus to the loss of life, Brown added, "That can't be recovered". Due to the constant news updates from friends, family, and media outlets, I feared for the absolute worst.

Last year the state fined PG&E $90 million after determining that the company's power lines caused a catastrophic Butte Fire that killed two people in 2015. 5, 2017 shows smoke from fires burning across the western United States and British Columbia stretching across the United States. My wife and I are two very active and directed people, but we find ourselves sitting and staring in confusion.

Fixed-wing aircraft that were focused on the Atlas fire can now be diverted to the 47,000-acre Nuns fire, which continues to threaten communities on its eastern and western flanks, officials said. Last week she underwent surgery related to recently diagnosed breast cancer, and she will run out of her pain medication this Friday. Still, the shares are down 17 percent since Wednesday.

As everyone learns when entering the wine industry, strip away the trappings and the airs often pegged to wine, and at its heart, you'll find an agrarian community.

PG&E says it has told state regulators of seven incidents of damage to its equipment, including downed power lines and broken poles. Pimlott said pilots couldn't see what was beyond their windows, much less what was on the ground. Officials at the center served 387 people today, Fleming said. Volunteers had set up an ad-hoc medical clinic, a phone-charging station, a kids' play area and a dining area where the Salvation Army was providing food.

"Fire doesn't usually do what it did here", Paul Greiner, an engineer from Rocklin Fire Department, explained while driving through a cordoned-off part of Santa Rosa.

With heavy smoke posing a health risk, people have been rushing to buy face masks. In Yuba County, the Cascade fire is at 11,685 acres and is 20 percent contained.

AT&T has deployed mobile cell sites to Santa Rosa, Willits and the Napa Town & County Fairgrounds to connect customers and emergency responders who have been without wireless service and connectivity since early Monday.

Search and rescue crews and firefighters are still scouring ash for bodies, finding burnt animals, and letting weary, heartbroken residents back into completely decimated neighborhoods to homes that no longer exist. And the researchers say that future warming may cause more storms, more lightning and potentially more fires in the northern regions.