San Francisco, Oct 15 (IANS) The toll from massive wildfires raging across California has increased to 40 with thousands more ordered to evacuate from Santa Rosa city as a new blaze threatened the area, police said.
The police said evacuations were ordered on Saturday for areas in northeastern Santa Rosa, a city of about 175,000 people roughly 50 miles northwest of San Francisco, reports CNN.
A large part of the city was evacuated earlier when wildfires began tearing through Northern California on October 8.
The new blaze threatening Santa Rosa erupted on Friday along state Highway 12 between two other wildfires that have been burning for days, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey told CNN on Saturday that firefighters “have a handle” on the fire.
The outbreak of wildfires has become one of the deadliest in the state history, according to Cal Fire.
More than 200 people have been reported missing since the fires began.
According to state authorities, many of the victims were so badly burned, their bodies were reduced to ash and bones.
In some cases, dental records, fingerprints, tattoos and serial numbers on hip implants were used to identify the victims.
The 50,000-plus acre Atlas fire in Napa and Solano counties was 45 per cent contained on Saturday morning — up from 3 per cent two days earlier, CNN quoted Cal Fire as saying.
The 46,000-plus acre Nuns fire in Sonoma was 10 per cent contained.
The 35,000-acre Tubbs fire in Napa and Sonoma was 44 per cent under control. The 34,000-acre Redwood and Potter fires in Mendocino County were 20 per cent contained.
At least 16 wildfires have burned more than 214,000 acres throughout California, and if any new fires start.
Already, about 100,000 people have been evacuated from the fires, which have destroyed an estimated 5,700 structures.