After a long dry stretch in the Piedmont, the recent rain makes a big difference as we head into wildfire season.
"We have unprecedented levels of smoke and particles in the air that we normally don't see", said Ralph Borrmann, a spokesman for the district.
Officials were concerned that the many separate blazes would merge into larger infernos. "Once the conditions present themselves", Carson said. On Wednesday, the ridges were obscured by the growing clouds of smoke.
On Thursday morning, air quality in the most of the region was as bad as Beijing, China's notoriously polluted capital, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
Local animal shelters, which are helping people keep their pets safe, also need financial support: Humane Society of Sonoma County: sonomahumane.org, Humane Society of Napa County: napahumane.org, and Yuba-Sutter SPCA: yubasutterspca.org. Manned roadblocks were set up between Sonoma and devastated areas of Santa Rosa.
The most lethal wildfire event in California's history has killed people while they sleep in their beds and prompted authorities to evacuate thousands of residents, warning anyone deciding to wait it out: "You are on your own".
Alejandro Rodriguez had been evacuated from one tiny Sonoma Valley town, only to have deputies come to the neighborhood to where he had relocated and tell residents there to pack up and go.
Officials, offering a glimmer of hope for those desperately searching for friends and family, said they believe many of those reported missing will be found alive because chaotic evacuations and poor communications over the past few days have stymied search efforts.
Authorities have confirmed two more deaths, bringing the total to 23.
"The devastation is enormous", he said. More than 8,000 firefighters struggle with the fiery element.
Fires were "burning faster than firefighters can run, in some situations", Emergency Operations Director Mark Ghilarducci said.
Orange County fire officials said the blaze was 60 percent contained and full containment was expected by Sunday, although another round of gusty winds and low humidity levels could arrive late Thursday.
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