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Wildfires kill at least 17 in California wine country

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 01:04

Wildfires in California's wine country have left at least 17 people dead and entire communities in rubble. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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Wildfires raging on in northern California's wine country, leaving ashes in its path -- a Hilton Hotel burned into itself...and this is what's left of a high school in Sonoma County. (SOUNDBITE) SONOMA COUNTY RESIDENT, MICHAEL EVERIDGE, SAYING: "Gone, everything's gone. My mom's gonna come home to this. And all she had is what she could throw in the back of the car to evacuate. She's 80." Firefighters on WEDNESDAY continue to battle 17 wildfires that have killed at least 17 people, leveled entire neighborhoods, and forced some 20,000 people to flee their homes. (SOUNDBITE) BATTALION CHIEF WITH CAL FIRE, JONATHAN COX, SAYING: "The sheer size and scope of these fires right now is massive... unprecedented in California." And with dry, windy conditions forecast for Wednesday and Thursday, firefighters could be facing NEW outbreaks. Reuters photographer Stephen Lam is in Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. "We are at this neighborhood by Rincon Range Park. And as you can see the neighborhood behind me it's, many of the houses are completely destroyed. There are some of the places like this Playground behind me is still okay but unfortunately a lot of the cars and a lot of the different properties are gone." It's still not clear what will become of the grape crop currently being harvested in Napa and Sonoma. Wine experts say sustained exposure to heavy smoke can taint unpicked grapes.

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Wildfires kill at least 17 in California wine country

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 01:04