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Dozens missing in Northern California wildfires - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Dozens missing in Northern California wildfires

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At least 13 people are dead as of Tuesday morning and more remain missing after several rapidly spreading wildfires swept through Northern California on Monday.

More than a dozen fires were reported across eight counties, where thousands were evacuated from their homes.

The California Highway Patrol used helicopters to rescue dozens of people trapped in their cars by the flames as they tried to escape.

"The wind was so strong and so noisy, and the people were driving crazy to try to get out," said Jose Vigil, who lost his home to the flames. 

Fire officials say at least 1,500 structures have been destroyed.

Crews are hoping calmer winds Tuesday will help with their efforts to contain the fires. Authorities are deploying more firefighters and law enforcement officials to the fire areas.
    
Brad Alexander, a spokesman for the Governor's Office of Emergency Services, says hundreds more firefighters from throughout the state will join the fight Tuesday. He says California has also asked for fire crews from the U.S. Forest Service in Nevada.
    
More law enforcement officials will also be sent to help with evacuations and guard against looting.

The latest deaths were reported in Mendocino County. Sheriff Thomas Allman said Tuesday two people died in Redwood Valley, a town of 2,000 people. 

Also among those killed were 100-year-old Charles Rippey and his wife, 98-year-old Sara Rippey, who died inside their Napa County home. The couple's granddaughter, Ruby Gibney, told Oakland television station KTVU on Monday that their home was quickly ravaged by the fire and they were unable to get out.

Taken as a group, the fires are already among the deadliest in California history. At least 100 people have suffered injuries.

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