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The Latest: Trump vows support for Calif. wildfire victims

(WDBJ)
Published: Oct. 10, 2017 at 7:33 AM EDT
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UPDATE

President Donald Trump says the federal government will be there for the people of California as devastating wildfires sweep across the state's famed wine country.

Trump says he spoke Monday night with California Gov. Jerry Brown to "let him know that the federal government will stand with the people of California.

And we will be there for you in this time of terrible tragedy and need."

At least 15 people have died and at least 2,000 homes, businesses, and other structures have been destroyed in the wildfires in Northern California.

Trump says he is also continuing to pray for those grieving and wounded in the Las Vegas mass shooting and is also thinking of the people affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

He says, "We have to never forget."

ORIGINAL

Wildfires continue to rage throughout Northern California. They all broke out almost simultaneously and then grew exponentially, destroying wineries, trailer parks and tearing through both tiny rural towns and urban subdivisions.

At least 11 were dead, at least 100 injured and at least 1,500 homes and businesses destroyed, authorities said. All three figures are expected to surge in coming days as more information is reported. Many homes and businesses were evacuated -- some just in the nick of time as flames approached.

Taken as a group, the fires are already among the deadliest in California history.

Residents who gathered at emergency shelters and grocery stores said they were shocked by the speed and ferocity of the flames. They recalled all the possessions they had left behind.

Some of the largest of the 14 blazes burning over a 200-mile region were in Napa and Sonoma counties, home to dozens of wineries that attract tourists from around the world. They sent smoke as far south as San Francisco, about 60 miles away.

Sonoma County said it has received more than 100 missing-person reports as family and friends scramble to locate loved ones.

The reports have come via calls to a hotline the county set up for the missing, according to Scott Alonso, communications director for Sonoma County.

It's possible that many or most of the missing are safe but simply can't be reached because of the widespread loss of cell service and other communications.

About 99,000 people are without power because of the wildfires.