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Northern California wildfires: Emergency declared as 1500 structures burned

10 October 2017, 12:26 | Sammy Green

Hide Caption Show Caption Napa County fire. Image courtesy of Craig Philpott @CphilpottCraig on Oct. 9 2017

Napa County fire. Image courtesy of Craig Philpott @CphilpottCraig on Oct. 9 2017

Torres home was on Wild Horse Valley Road and the Atlas Peak fire was roaring toward his neighborhood.

Wildfires erupted in Northern California over the weekend, forcing residents in the wine country north of San Francisco to flee as homes went up in flames.

Napa County fire officials said that the wild fires had burned more than 68 square miles, destroying more than 50 structures.

A 200-acre fire near Atlas Peak in the hills above Napa led to the evacuation of hundreds of homes.

"Trees were ablaze like lights", she said.

Across Northern California, the fires have destroyed at least 1,500 homes, businesses and other buildings and forced an estimated 20,000 people to evacuate in eight counties, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Chief Kim Pimlott said at a news conference in Sacramento.

Patients at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Rosa were being removed early Monday morning, according to NBC Bay Area reporter Laura Garcia.

Napa officials said three evacuation centers had been opened - at the Crosswalk Community Church on First Street and at the Napa County Fairgrounds. As many as 8,000 homes are threatened in Nevada County, the Associated Press reported.

"Our neighbor called and told us the sheriff had come - we had to evacuate now", he said.

Here's a look at what's being referred to as the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa.

Highway 37 has reopened in both directions between Novato and Vallejo after being closed early Monday morning because of a vegetation fire, California Highway Patrol officials said.

"Everyone in Sonoma County is spread out fighting these fires, but they don't have enough resources to handle something like this. There was smoke all over the area".

"Fire has burned all the way through the Silverado Country Club area", Biermann said in a reference to the Silverado Resort and Spa. Evacuations have been ordered along East Road, West Road, Tomki Road to Canyon Road in Willits, Golden Rule subdivision and Reeves Canyon. "I mean blazing, falling down on fire". Authorities also are setting up a place for residents to evacuate their horses. They have also been ordered in the North Bay for Porter Creek, Petrified Forest, Franz Valley and Mountain Home Ranch Rd.

San Francisco authorities issued an air quality alert due to smoke from the blazes, warning residents to close windows, limit outdoor activities and keep pets inside.

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