After battling massive, fast-moving wildfires that have killed at least 11 people and torched more than 100,000 acres across Northern California, most of them in wine country, firefighters are hoping for some reprieve Tuesday morning as strong winds that fanned flames the day before continue to weaken.
Daniel Berlant, assistant deputy director for Cal Fire, said winds have slowed to single-digit speeds, down from the 50 to 60 mph gusts reported Monday.
“That’s given us a good opportunity to make progress on these fires,” Berlant said. “We’re hoping to continue to see less wind and cooler temperatures. That combination is a welcome sight compared to what we dealt with just 24 hours ago.”
Crews are fighting 17 wildfires that destroyed at least 1,500 homes and commercial buildings across several Northern California counties and sent more than 20,000 people fleeing for safety.
Ten people from California’s wine country have been reported dead as of Tuesday morning, and officials warned that the death toll is likely to rise.