As thousands of firefighters continue to battle the massive California wildfires for the fifth day, the death toll has risen to 31. More than 600 people are considered missing and thousands of residents were evacuated.

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During the night (Friday), US authorities and rescue forces reported that the number of casualties who were killed in the California wildfires has risen to 31, making it the state’s deadliest recorded fire. Over half of the victims were killed in Sonoma County, while the rest were spread over 3 other counties.

Over 8,000 firefighters are operating around the clock to control the flames that have led to the evacuation of thousands of residents from their homes. So far, more than 200 people were injured and 670 people are still considered missing. Hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed as the strong winds continue to feed the fires. “We are a long way from being done with this catastrophe,” California Fire Director Ken Pimlott stated.

Photo credit: Sky News/ Channel 2 News

The fires have also caused extensive damage to the state’s wine business. “A quarter of my co-workers have been evacuated,” said winemaker Allison Crowe. “I have friends fighting off fires with hoses in the hills…It’s scary. We feel surrounded.”

Hundreds still missing

Hundreds still missing Photo credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News