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Firefighters make progress in containment ahead of 'dangerous' winds — California wildfires

Firefighters make progress in containment ahead of 'dangerous' winds — California wildfires

The owner of Paradise Ridge winery in Santa Rosa, Rene Byck, told the BBC that the blazes had destroyed millions of dollars worth of wine.

Saturday morning more evacuations were issued for portions of eastern Santa Rosa and Sonoma Valley after a night of high winds pushed the Nuns Fire.

Firefighters reported that they had made progress in combating the fires and had begun marking containment lines around the perimeter of some of the blazes. In a statement, Brown said the wildfires "have damaged critical infrastructure, threatened thousands of homes and caused the evacuation of residents".

More than 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed, including several wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties, the heart of the state's extensive wine production.

The sheriff said that of the 17 people confirmed dead in Sonoma County, 10 have now been identified. It advised that any new fires could spread rapidly due to gusty winds and very dry conditions.

Some 100,000 people have been forced from their homes, including another 3,000 evacuated from the city of Santa Rosa, about 50 miles (80 km) north of San Francisco, and another 250 from nearby Sonoma city. "Go!" the Sonoma County deputy yells to drivers who are hesitating and moving slowly as they flee. Nineteen people have died in Sonoma County, eight in Mendocino County, four in Napa County and four in Yuba County.

Whole neighborhoods of Santa Rosa have been reduced to landscapes of gray ash, smoldering debris and burned-out vehicles. He said more than 100 people spent Thursday night at the school, which has been converted into a shelter.

About 400 homes were evacuated ahead of the flames.

Some scientists are also concerned that if wildfires become more frequent or intense, the carbon emissions they release could exacerbate the progression of climate change, leading to a kind of feedback loop-more warming leads to more fires, which release more carbon, which causes more warming, and so on. Another study in Ecosphere from last year concluded that three-quarters of the nation's national parks have seen an advance in the timing of spring over the last century. Giordano warned that it was "going to be a slow process" as fires continue to burn, and that identifying victims would be difficult. These are a few of the major climate-related factors that may be at play. Mark Ghilarducci, state director of emergency services, added that: "we are not even close to being out of this emergency". The National Weather Service says winds in the area picked up overnight reaching gusts of up to 25 miles an hour.

Cal Fire meanwhile said that strong winds could spark new fires.

First, while the above factors-temperature, moisture, wind, lightning-are generally significant in fire seasons all over the world, the effects of climate change will certainly not be identical everywhere.

At the same time, there's a great deal of scientific debate about the influence of climate change on droughts around the world.

The home of the late Charles Schulz, who created the famous "Peanuts" comics, was destroyed in the blaze, his family revealed Thursday, although his widow managed to escape.