Deadly California wildfires turn neighborhoods into ash

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (NBC News) – The death toll from California’s wildfires continues to grow. At least 23 people are confirmed dead, and hundreds more are missing.

Crews continue to struggle against the 22 separate fires that are currently burning across Northern California’s wine country.

“The potential continues to exist for peril if folks don’t get out from in front of these fires,” warns CAL Fire Director Ken Pimlott. “It’s very dynamic, these fires are changing by the minute in many areas.”

Tens of thousands have been evacuated, and many of those returning to areas already scorched are finding their homes reduced to ashes.

Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann said at a news conference: “The fires are still out there, and they are still actively growing.”

Carlos Torres, who has lived in Coffey Park for a decade, said he was grateful to be alive, but he felt frustrated that his family had not gotten an evacuation order or alerts from authorities.

His 17-year-old daughter, Ashley Carreno, said she heard people in the neighborhood honking their car horns, trying to wake people up early Monday. But no word came from officials, they said.

“They didn’t say how bad it was going to be, that we’d need to evacuate,” Carlos Torres said. “We saw cars leaving, but we didn’t know why. … Nobody told us what was happening.”

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