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Wildfire devastates California wine country

Published:  10 October, 2017

Deadly wildfires which have already claimed ten lives have devastated areas of northern California which authorities are calling the worst the state has ever seen.

Wineries have been abandoned and around 20,000 people from across prime wine-producing areas in Napa, Sonoma and Yuba have been evacuated as fast-spreading fires began to cause widespread destruction early on Monday morning.

According to reports, separate fires broke out late on Sunday night, but were quickly fanned into enormous blazes by strong winds which swept across a 200-mile region.

This area covers the Napa and Sonoma counties - the international faces of the Californian wine industry.

The cause of fires are as yet unknown, but it is believed they have destroyed 1,500 homes and businesses so far, with 100 people injured and ten people losing their lives.

Hospitals in Santa Rosa, the largest city in the region, were forced to evacuate patients as state officials declared a state of emergency.

Authorities report that seven people have died in Sonoma, two in Napa county and one in Mendocino, with many vineyard workers needing to be airlifted to safety.

It has been reported that such fires are more typical of southern California, but dry weather and strong winds have led to rampant fires erupting in the north.

Helicopters and firefighters have been deployed en masse to battle the flames, however, more dry weather is forecast for the next few days.

Check back for updates.