Horrific before and after images shows extent of deadly California wildfires

Devastating images have given a horrific glimpse into the damage caused by the California wildfires that have killed at least 10 people.

 

Wildfires whipped by powerful winds swept through various wine regions Monday (local time), destroying at least 1500 homes and businesses and sending thousands fleeing as flames raged unchecked through high-end resorts, grocery stores and tree-lined neighbourhoods.

The flames were burning "at explosive rates" because of 50mph winds but exactly what caused the deadly fires remains unknown.

The ferocity of the flames forced authorities to focus primarily on getting people out safely, even if it meant abandoning structures to the fire.

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This combination of before and after photos shows Coffey Park, a large Santa Rosa subdivision of dozens of homes, that was burned to the ground. Source: LA Times

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This combination of before and after photos shows Coffey Park, a large Santa Rosa subdivision of dozens of homes, that was burned to the ground. Source: LA Times

A firefighter sprays a Keysight Technologies building in Santa Rosa. Source: AAP

Mike Turpen, 38, was at a local bar when a stranger wearing a smoke mask ran in and yelled there was a fire.

"It was like Armageddon was on," Turpen said.

"Every branch of every tree was on fire."





Some of the largest blazes were in Napa and Sonoma counties, home to dozens of wineries that attract tourists from around the world.

They sent smoke as far south as San Francisco, about 100 kilometres away.

Kim Hoe, a 33-year-old tech worker from Penang, Malaysia, was staying at the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country, which was gutted by flames.

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Jim Stites watches part of his neighborhood burn in Fountaingrove. Source: AAP

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Vicky Walker hugs Orange County Fire Authority firefighter Jose Garcia as she thanks him for helping to save her home. Source: AAP

He said the power went out around 1am, and he and his colleagues started packing up when someone knocked on the door and told them to run.

"We just had to run and run, it was full of smoke, we could barely breathe," Hoe said.

They returned in the morning to find the hotel had been destroyed along with most of their possessions.

One of the raging fires in Northern California had Santa Rosa under siege Monday morning, with a large swath of the city north of downtown under evacuation order.

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