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Have you ever experienced a hurricane or other storm with high winds and torrential rains? Now imagine the same high winds, but instead of rain, there is fire. That’s what many northern California residents are experiencing as numerous wildfires race through areas of the Golden State, turning it into the Charred State.

Sonoma County has been hit especially hard by the wildfires that were fueled by dry conditions and the hot Santa Ana winds which reached hurricane force of up to 75 mph, pushing the fires at a very fast pace. The county is known for its wine and one grape farmer and wine producer says he lost the entire 2017 harvest and wine, totally over 150,000 bottles. The wine industry in Sonoma County employs around 50,000 people, but many will not have a job to come back to this year.

The toll from Northern California’s ranging wildfires continued to grow Tuesday evening as officials said the fires destroyed up to 2,000 structures and killed at least 17 people.

The devastating losses establish firestorms among the most destructive in California history. The estimated losses of homes, businesses and other buildings jumped from 1,500 to 2,000, and officials fear the death toll will also continue to rise.

Sonoma County alone has received about 200 reports of missing people since Sunday night, and sheriff’s officials have located 45 of those people, said county spokeswoman Maggie Fleming.

The majority of the fatalities are from Sonoma County, where huge swaths of the city of Santa Rosa were leveled by the Tubbs fire. Eleven people have died in Sonoma County as of 7 p.m. Tuesday, officials said. Two people have died in Napa County, three in Mendocino County and one in Yuba County, Cal Fire officials said…

While parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and the Carolinas are still trying to dry out from all of the hurricanes and rain, California residents are praying for rain and moister conditions that would allow firefighters to get ahead of the fires, containing them and putting them out before they cause any further loss of life or buildings.

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