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Death toll in California wildfire rises to 29

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California [U.S.A.] | October 13, 2017 12:01:13 AM IST
 
Death toll in the wildfire that swept through northern California, has reached 29 as hundreds of firefighters are still battling the flames in multiple areas of the region.

"We're not even close to being out of this emergency," CNN quoted Mark Ghilarducci, the director of California's Office of Emergency Services, as saying.

Wildfires raging across broad swaths of northern California have hospitalised hundreds, and charred about 170,000 acres of land, damaged or destroyed at least 3,500 structures and forced nearly 20,000 residents to evacuate, local media reports said.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, more than 2,700 firefighters and support personnel are battling the fires.

Authorities were concerned about new Red Flag warnings that said winds were going to pick up this week.

The wildfire, driven by powerful winds, tore through Northern California on Monday, forcing evacuations and destroying structures in their path.

Officials expect the death toll to rise and the high winds in the coming days could complicate efforts to contain fires.

The Trump administration has also approved a federal disaster declaration for California in response to wildfires.

The House of Representatives on Thursday announced a $36.5 billion disaster aid package to help victims struggling to recover from a string of devastating hurricanes and wildfires.

Earlier, California Governor Jerry Brown had requested federal assistance to combat the deadly fires and had also declared an emergency in eight counties, including Napa and Sonoma.

The Department of Homeland Security has said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency immediately agreed to the state's request for federal funds to help fight many of the fires. (ANI)

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