SONOMA (CBS13/AP) – Authorities say some of the most destructive wildfires in California’s history have killed 21 people.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Chief Ken Pimlott gave an updated death toll Wednesday, calling the series of wildfires in wine country “a serious, critical, catastrophic event.”
He says 8,000 firefighters are focusing on protecting lives and property as they battle the flames chewing through critically dry vegetation.
Cal Fire officials confirmed three more fatalities in Mendocino, bringing the total death toll to 21.
The Yuba County Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page that deputies found the remains Tuesday after a resident asked for a welfare check on a family friend who was missing.
The office says the body was found in the Loma Rica area, where another body was found earlier.
People have also died in Sonoma and Napa.
The fires north of San Francisco are among the deadliest in California history. The blazes have also left at least 180 people injured and have destroyed more than 3,500 homes and businesses.
Hundreds of people are still listed as missing, but officials say the number could go lower as cellphone service is restored to the area.