Calif. — (NBC News) California officials said Monday that 23,000 people have been displaced by two wildfires ravaging the state — including one believed to be the worst yet in a devastating fire season.
At least one person was killed, four firefighters were injured, and authorities said an unspecified number of other people were unaccounted for.
A blaze known as the Valley fire, raging north of San Francisco, burned almost unchecked across 95 square miles. It had destroyed at least 400 homes and businesses and forced 13,000 people from their homes — some with only minutes to escape.
Besides the hundreds of buildings destroyed, the fire has burned up to 1,000 structures, including barns and sheds. The blaze broke out only Saturday, quickly spread and was expanding in several directions early Monday. It was declared zero percent contained.
On Saturday night, the fire claimed the first civilian fatality in the state this fire season — an elderly disabled woman, California fire officials confirmed Monday. A call for help came in, but officers could not reach the woman’s subdivision because it was already engulfed, the officials said.
They said they could not name her until they had confirmed her identity and reached her next of kin.