California fires destroy at least 3,500 homes, businesses

SONOMA, Calif. (AP) — A California fire official says at least 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed by wildfires burning in Northern California wine country.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant says fire activity increased significantly overnight, destroying more buildings and leading to new mandatory evacuations in several areas.

Berlant said Wednesday that 22 wildfires are burning in Northern California, up from 17 on Tuesday.

Officials in Napa County say almost half of the population of Calistoga, a town of 5,000 people, has been ordered to evacuate. New evacuation orders are also in place for Green Valley in Solano County.

After a day of cooler weather and calmer winds, officials say low moisture and dangerous gusty winds will return to the region Wednesday afternoon, complicating firefighters' efforts.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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