California wildfires death toll now at 31

SONOMA COUNTY (KRON) — As death toll hits 31 from California wildfires, fire official says it is the deadliest week of wildfires in state history.

Sheriff’s officials said Thursday that they have 17 confirmed deaths due to the raging wildfires in Sonoma County alone. Of those 17 deaths, 10 of them have been identified.

Cal Emergency Services said that two more people have also died in Mendocino County.

Overall in the North Bay, 25 people have been killed.

There are approximately 1,000 reports of missing people. Of those, 603 people have been found safe. Approximately 400 are still missing.

There are 30 detectives working the missing persons.

Officials say recovery teams, some with cadaver dogs, will start searching for bodies in some areas.

The wildfires have destroyed 3,500 homes and business and charred more than 170,000 acres.

“We are now hitting this fire on two front,” a fire official said Thursday. “While life safety still remains our priority, today, the beginning of day four, fire crews are making progress and we’re beginning to contain this fire.”

Officials say fire crews have made progress on the deadliest of two dozen fires burning in Northern California.

Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant said Thursday the blaze burning in Sonoma County is 10 percent contained.

But he warns that potential gusty winds forecast to hit the area later in the day could hamper firefighting efforts.

Since it began Sunday, the wildfire in Sonoma County has charred 53 square miles.

Entire cities have evacuated in anticipation of the next round of flames, their streets empty and the only motion coming from ashes falling like snowflakes.

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