Winds fan ‘catastrophic’ California fires

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Renewed high winds are fanning “catastrophic” wildfires that have killed at least 23 people in northern California, the state fire chief says, the BBC reports.

Thousands of people have been left homeless by the 22 huge blazes, which are spreading fast and unpredictably.

Nearly 300 people are missing, but police say that may be due to the chaotic nature of evacuations.

Entire towns in the state’s wine-producing region have been abandoned.

The fires are among the deadliest in California’s history and have sent smoke as far south as San Francisco, about 100km away.

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