State of emergency declared in Napa Sonoma and Yuba counties because of wildfires


California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties because of wildfires that the governor says are threatening thousands of homes.

Brown issued the declaration on Monday, as multiple fires forced people to evacuate their homes.

Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann said more than 50 structures had been destroyed, but there were no reports of injuries or deaths.

Residents describe terrifying middle-of-the-night scrambles to flee from raging wildfires.

Biermann says the fires had burned more than 68 square miles (176sq. kilometers).

Residents in Napa and Sonoma counties are describing their terrifying middle-of-the-night scramble to flee from raging wildfires.

Terri Ruttledge, who lives on Adobe Canyon in Kenwood, just made it out before the fire burned her house.

Ruttledge says she looked out her window and saw the mountain across the road on fire. When she couldn’t reach 911, she quickly loaded up the car and fled.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered after blazes broke out late Sunday.

Napa County Board of Supervisors chairwoman Belia Ramos says officials do not yet have a count on how many properties have been affected in the 20,000 acre (8,100 hectare) fire.

She says the wind gusts were tremendous and made the fire unpredictable.

Fires also burned just to the east in the Napa County wine country as well as in Yuba, Butte and Nevada counties.

Marian Williams says she caravanned with neighbors through flames early Monday as one of several fires reached the vineyards and ridges of the small Sonoma County town of Kenwood.

Williams says she could feel the heat as trees turned into torches.

The fires are being fanned by strong, dry and gusty winds raking the region.