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Northern California Wildfires: At Least 35 Dead, 90K Left Homeless

At least 35 people have died in what has been the deadliest week of wildfires in California history, and officials warned the toll could climb.

The scale of the disaster also became clearer Friday as authorities said the fires had chased an estimated 90,000 people from their homes and destroyed at least 5,700 homes and businesses, the Associated Press is reporting.

But a fifth day of desperate firefighting brought a glimmer of hope as crews battling the flames reported their first progress toward containing the massive blazes. "The emergency is not over, and we continue to work at it, but we are seeing some great progress," said the state's emergency operations director, Mark Ghilarducci.

Over the past 24 hours, crews arrived from Nevada, Washington, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, North and South Carolina, Oregon and Arizona. Other teams came from as far away as Canada and Australia.

The Northern California infernos have killed more people than any single fire in state history, the AP reported. Officials originally cited the 1991 Oakland Hills fire as the deadliest single fire in California history, but it was actually the 1933 Griffith Park fire, which killed 29 people, that was the deadliest.

Officials searching were searching burned areas of Sonoma and Napa counties with cadaver dogs Thursday night when they recovered more bodies, said Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano.

 


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