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  1. Multiple firestorms raged across the state’s bucolic wine country on Monday, resulting in at least 10 deaths, destroying more than 1,500 structures, emptying hospitals, dropping ashes as far away as San Francisco and forcing the panicked evacuation of tens of thousands of residents to crowded shelters. With 14 different fires erupting throughout Northern California since late Sunday night, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott said an estimated 20,000 people had been evacuated. He cautioned that the estimate of burned structures — the fifth highest ever from a group of California wildfires — was very conservative and said firefighters were too busy trying to save lives to focus on battling the blazes. Meanwhile, TV stations streamed images of devastated neighborhoods where every home had seemingly melted away. By nightfall Monday, authorities were cautioning that the death toll would probably mount and warned people to stay away from the burned areas. Containment of the fires was minimal, but the hurricane-force winds that spread the fire Sunday night mercifully had died down. Adding to the chaos was the scattered loss of cellphone coverage, power outages, confusion over shelter space, closed highways and city streets clogged with people fleeing the area. Combined, five of the larger fires alone had scorched more than 80,000 acres across parts of eight different counties, including Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Yuba. Sonoma County had seven fire-related deaths, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Cal Fire confirmed three deaths, including one in Mendocino County and two in Napa. An elderly couple, ages 98 and 100, did not escape from a home in the Silverado Resort in Napa. There is no estimate on the number injured or missing, but Sgt. Spencer Crum of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office told ABC7 News 100 calls reporting a person missing had been received. Fire dispatch records tell an astonishing story of fires breaking out almost simultaneously across Sonoma and Napa counties, apparently because of the winds. The mayhem began about 9:22 p.m. Sunday with a report of a vegetation fire near the intersection of highways 101 and 12. Over the next half hour, 19 emergency calls streamed into Sonoma County fire: falling trees, downed lines, structure fires, an exploding transformer. Dispatchers sent firefighters north, south, east and west. Officially, the causes are under investigation. As homeowners literally ran for their lives in the smoky darkness, the strong winds pushed the fires and sent acrid smoke as far away as Santa Cruz by the time the sun came up. “It was an inferno like you’ve never seen before,” said Marian Williams, who fled through the flames before dawn in a caravan with neighbors as one of the wildfires reached the vineyards and ridges of her small Sonoma County town of Kenwood. Williams could feel the heat of the fire outside her car as she fled. “Trees,” she said, “were on fire like torches.” ********************************************************************************************************************************* Horrific hurricanes spread devastation and death, earthquakes ravage cities, an evil gunman slaughters scores and injures hundreds, and now out of control wildfires claim lives and ravage entire counties. The chain of disaster seems to be non-stop.