Frightening footage shows conditions inside California's wildfires
Dramatic footage released by a California sheriff’s office has shown the conditions facing firefighters in the region.
Wildfires tearing through the US state are on their way to becoming the deadliest in California history, and show no signs of slowing down.
The sheriff department in Sonoma County, which is home to almost 500,000 people and has so far reported a tentative figure of 11 deaths due to the fires, shared this.
Winds with gusts of up to 45mph and humidity at almost zero mean the fires could continue to gain momentum and undo the modest progress firefighters have made since Sunday.
“It’s going to continue to get worse before it gets better,” state fire chief Ken Pimlott said on Wednesday.
At least 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed, and entire cities have been evacuated as the 22 fires that were burning on Wednesday continued to spread.
Drone footage shows rubble and ash where homes once stood.
Around 8,000 firefighters and other personnel are battling the blazes, with support coming from the neighbouring states of Arizona, Nevada, Washington and Oregon.
Hundreds of people are reported missing, according to Sonoma County sheriff Robert Giordano, who also expects the death toll to rise.
“The devastation is enormous,” he said. “We can’t even get into most areas.”