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AKIPRESS.COM - Massive wildfires sweeping through parts of California have killed at least 17 people and damaged more than 2,000 residences and other buildings, ABC Newsreported citing authorities.
Firefighters were battling dozens of fires across multiple counties in the state as of Tuesday, authorities said. Intensified by strong winds, the fires charred over 115,000 acres of land, destroyed at least 2,000 buildings and forced nearly 20,000 residents to evacuate.
St. Joseph Health said about 170 patients have been treated, many for burns and smoke inhalation, at three of its hospitals, including two in Sonoma County, where at least 11 people died of fire-related injuries. Authorities have 183 unresolved missing person reports, according to one Sonoma County official.
"Personally, I think this will be one of the worst natural disasters in California history," Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano said Tuesday evening at a town hall in Santa Rosa, California.