A swarm of fires supercharged by powerful winds ripped through Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties on Monday, killing at least three people, injuring dozens of others, destroying more than 1,500 homes and businesses, and turning prominent wineries to ash.
Starting in the middle of the night, the fires hopscotched across neighborhoods, raced across fields and jumped freeways. Wind gusts up to 70 mph pushed walls of flames nearly 100 feet high, throwing embers ahead like hot fingers into strip malls and subdivisions. Many people who fled the surge had enough time to grab car keys, perhaps a pet, but not much more.
And some didn’t get out — state fire officials said late Monday that two people had died in a blaze in Napa. A third person was killed in Mendocino County. SAN FRANCISCO GATE
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