WASHINGTON, Oct 14 (KUNA) -- The death toll continued to climb Saturday and thousands more are evacuating from one of the worst wildfires in California history.
The US National Weather Service issued a warning late Friday of high winds throughout Northern California "at least through Saturday." Parts of Northern and Southern California are under siege by between 19-22 wildfires, several of which have coalesced into megafires.
At least 36 people have been confirmed dead, many of them elderly, the deadliest fire in the state's history. Hundreds more are still missing.
"It's an unwieldy beast right now," fire information officer Dennis Rein said at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa.
More than 10,000 firefighters are battling the fires around the state. Much of the state is under a red-flag warning, the highest alert issued by the NWS that means extreme fire behavior may occur within 24 hours.
However, firefighters have made some significant gains. As of Friday evening, some of the deadliest fires in Sonoma and Napa counties were nearly 50 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. (end)