The Sonoma County Sheriff Department released body camera video taken Sunday night as officers responded to deadly raging wildfires. KTVU reports:
Fierce winds were expected to stir wildfires and test firefighters on Saturday in Northern California where the most lethal outbreak of wildfires in state history has killed 35 people and forced more than 90,000 residents from their homes.
The wind-driven blazes, which erupted on Sunday night in the heart of California’s renowned wine country, north of San Francisco, have destroyed an estimated 5,700 homes.
A total of 17 major wildfires – some encompassing several smaller blazes merged together – had consumed nearly 222,000 acres of dry brush, grasslands and trees across eight counties.
Ground crews on Friday gained ground on the wildfires as they raced to clear drought-parched vegetation along the southern flanks of fires, removing highly combustible fuels adjacent to populated areas before extreme heat and winds were forecast to revive over the weekend.
Winds were to intensify overnight and into Saturday with gusts of up to 55 mph (90 kph) along with 10 percent humidity, the service warned.
“If new fires start they could spread extremely rapidly,” said Brooke Bingaman, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Sacramento, California in a video posted on Facebook. “Those fuels are super dry right now. This also could cause problems for the current wildfires and the firefighters who are trying to suppress them.”