Wildfires sweep through California’s wine region

More than a dozen wildfires whipped by powerful winds have swept through northern California’s wine region. The flames have destroyed thousands of homes and forced more than 20,000 people to evacuate.

Some reports say as many as ten people have died and several more have been reported missing.

10 people were killed and 1,500 structures lost as more than 14 fires ravaged Northern California on Monday https://t.co/nGAUBKn4Md pic.twitter.com/7w14yz0UOK— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) October 10, 2017

It’s not known what caused the fires which first broke out on Sunday but the state’s fire chief says an eight-county swathe of Northern California, including Napa, and Sonoma counties are ablaze.

#BREAKING At least 3 people dead and 20,000 people evacuated due to wildfires scorching Northern California https://t.co/1IvXslx0v6— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) October 9, 2017

Santa Rosa, the largest city in the fire area with a population of about 175,000, has been hardest hit . Patients from two hospitals have been evacuated to safety while homes and businesses in the surrounding areas have been burnt to the ground.

A well known hotel was left smouldering in the ruins.

A state of emergency has been declared in the region as fire fighters continue to try to bring the flames under control.

My heart is with the families of the 10 souls we have lost to the Northern California fires. Your Senate stands ready to help.— Kevin de Leόn (@kdeleon) October 10, 2017

praying for the safety and well-being of everyone affected by the fires in California, including friends, family and first-responders.— Matt Hutnyan (@matt_hutnyan) October 10, 2017