California's Wildfires Are the Deadly Flip Side of this Year's Rainfall

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Before-and-after photos of the widespread destruction caused by the Northern California wildfires circulated on the internet Monday and Tuesday. "We hope the public will help us out - if they see smoke, call 911, and check their vehicles to make sure they are in good working order". Hundreds of people are still reported missing.

"This is similar to what you see in Beijing, China, in bad air days there", said Tom Flannigan, spokesman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

"These fires are literally just burning faster than firefighters can run in some situations", Emergency Operations Director Mark Ghilarducci said.

High-speed winds have played a role in the fires.

Maj. Gen. David Baldwin of the California National Guard says 242 soldiers and airmen are assisting in responding to the fires in the two counties.

A deputy of the Sonoma County Sheriff department captured the dashcam footage on Franz Valley Road.

Santa Rosa police on Tuesday issued an urgent evacuation warning for anyone remaining in the Oakmont neighborhood.

Residents of the Pacific Heights area behind Molsberry's Market in Larkfield were ordered to evacuate around 4:45 p.m., and residents of the Ida Clayton area of Geyserville from state Highway 128 to the Napa County line were ordered to evacuate as a fire spread north.

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With limited cell service and power down in many places, residents whose homes were spared are finding it hard to return, especially since most homes in the hills use wells. But we have mutual aid, so if we have an incident, we'll be pulling in assistance from San Luis Obispo County and other areas.

At one point Monday, there were at least 114,000 customers affected by the outage. As the fires grow, officials voiced concern that separate blazes would merge into even larger infernos.

"We took this action with our gas assets with safety first in mind to protect our customers and our communities."

According to the Mercury News, Sonoma County emergency dispatchers dealing with wildfires in the region suddenly received multiple calls of downed power lines and exploding electrical transformers.

"This is very definitely on people's radar of what caused a number of fires to break out all at once". It also cut gas service to more than 44,000 customers, because of the quick-spreading fires.

Eliason said County Fire has added a Type 3 brush truck to the Type 1 engine normally located at Station 13 in Santa Barbara, another brush engine has been stationed in Solvang, and two water tenders are stationed at the Gaviota turn.

Petaluma Valley Baptist Church in Petaluma, Calif., coordinated with other churches in its area and determined its facility was not needed as a shelter for some 700 local evacuees, pastor Bob Merwin told BP.