One death in Northern California from wildfire

Napa County fire just outside of American Canyon

At least six wildfires, some out of control, engulfed the region in thick, billowing smoke that drifted into San Francisco and Oakland and prompted California Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency for Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties.

The death occurred in the Mendocino County area, according to Cal-Fire, which declined to immediately release further details.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott say an estimated 20,000 people have been evacuated. Fire officials say at least 1,500 structures have burned in five of those blazes.

"It was an inferno like you've never observed", Sonoma County inhabitant Marian Williams told the Associated Press. Gusts were predicted to be in the 30 miles per hour range in the area of the fire.

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Mayor Jill Techel said homes hadn't burned within the city of Napa.

Fires are also burning in Butte and Nevada counties. The Tubbs fire west of Calistoga had burned 35,000 acres in Napa and Sonoma counties.

Piccinni said nearly all of Sonoma County's fire assets were being utilized.

He called the fire conditions Sunday night "pretty unprecedented for the valley" at this time of year.

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Evacuations have been ordered across the North Bay for residential neighborhoods, shopping centers and hospitals across, such as Kaiser Permanente Hospital and Sutter Hospital in Santa Rosa. The city lost a Kmart and unknown numbers of other businesses and homes, as the blaze shut down its schools and forced patients at two city hospitals to evacuate. The Petaluma Community Center at Lucchesi Park was also opened as an evacuation center. Guests staying at the Silverado Resort and Spa on Atlas Peak Road were evacuated during the night as the flames rushed toward the properties. The Sonoma County Fairgrounds is open for people with large animals; access the fairgrounds via Gate 7 on Aston Avenue. Smoke from the fires spread throughout the Bay Area. Residents there were directed to the Napa County Fairgrounds. Be alert for debris in the roadway and downed power lines.

The San Mateo County Sheriff's Department issued a notice to residents to expect a strong smell of smoke from the fires.

Residents are advised to limit outdoor activities and to set air conditioning and vehicle venting systems to re-circulate to prevent outside air from entering.

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