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380 people missing, 3,500 homes and businesses destroyed in North Bay wildfires

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Officials say 670 people are missing and 110 people have been found in the destructive wildfires in the North Bay. (Nick Giblin/DroneBase via AP)

Officials say 380 people are missing and 150 people have been found in the destructive wildfires in the North Bay. Officials say 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed in the deadly wine country blazes.

Officials say the statewide death toll from California wildfires is now at 21 people.

That number includes the 17 people in the Bay Area that have died in devastating fires; 11 of those are in Sonoma County alone. Nearly 88,000 acres have been burned in the six major fires, including the Tubbs Fire in Napa County which has grown to 30,000 acres.

IMPORTANT: 380 people are still listed as missing in Sonoma County. Officials hope some have been found but have just not yet been reported as found. If you know someone who was missing but no longer is please call the Sonoma County Emergency Operations Center at 707-565-3856

A Wind Advisory has been issued with gusts of more than 50 mph expected later today in the North Bay. The winds could down trees, trigger more power outages and pick up embers.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant says fire activity increased significantly overnight, destroying more buildings and leading to new mandatory evacuations in several areas.

Berlant said Wednesday that 22 wildfires are burning in Northern California, up from 17 on Tuesday.

Officials in Napa County say almost half of the population of Calistoga, a town of 5,000 people, has been ordered to evacuate. New evacuation orders are also in place for Green Valley in Solano County.

FULL LIST: North Bay fires prompt evacuations, road closures

Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Yuba, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada and Orange counties due to the effects of fires. Brown also requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to support the state and local response to the Northern California fires, which was approved Tuesday.

The Governor's Office of Emergency Services has activated the State Operations Center in Mather, California to its highest level and is coordinating closely with other local, state and federal emergency response officials to address all emergency management needs. More information on state and federal disaster declarations can be found here.

PHOTOS: Deadly fires burn in Napa, Calistoga areas

In addition to knocking out electricity, the blazes damaged or destroyed 77 cellular sites, disrupting communication services that officials were rushing to restore, said Emergency Operations Director Mark Ghilarducci.

Among the victims were 100-year-old Charles Rippey and his wife, Sara, who was 98. The couple was married for 75 years and lived at the Silverado Resort in Napa. "The only thing worse would have been if one survived without the other," their granddaughter, Ruby Gibney said.

RELATED: Couple married 75 years dies in Napa wildfire

A thick, smoky haze cloaked much of Napa and Sonoma counties, where neighborhoods hit by the fires were completely leveled. Authorities warned residents not to return to their houses for safety reasons, citing the risk of exposed electrical and gas lines and unstable structures including trees.

But many found it hard to stay away.

In the Santa Rosa suburb known as Coffey Park, Robyn Pellegrini let out a cry of grief as she approached the smoldering ruins of the duplex she shared with her husband and their 6-year-old son. Daniel Pellegrini held his wife before they went searching for something they could salvage for their child.

The blaze, which disrupted major commuter routes, spread over nearly a dozen square miles in less than 24 hours as a squadron of helicopters and airplanes bombarded it with water and retardant.

Much of the damage was in Santa Rosa, a far larger and more developed city than usually finds itself at the mercy of a wildfire. The city is home to 175,000 people, including both the wine-country wealthy and the working class.

It was unusual for so many fires to take off at the same time. Other than the windy conditions that helped drive them all, there was no known connection between the blazes, and authorities have not cited a cause for any of them.

IMPORTANT: If you are in need of resources, shelter, or assistance please click here -- and we will continue to update this page for resources and complete updates on road closures, school closures, and evacuation orders.

Click here for full coverage on the North Bay fires.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Related Topics:
firenapa countybrush firefirefightersevacuationsonoma countywildfireNorth Bay FiresNapaSonomaSanta RosaGlen Ellen
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