Somber memorials mark 1st anniversary of North Bay Wildfires

NAPA VALLEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Today marks exactly one year since a firestorm devastated parts of the North Bay.

Flames destroyed entire neighborhoods, moving so fast some couldn't get out. In all, 44 people were killed. Six massive fires burned more than 200,000 acres in four counties.

Official state incident reports shows the three biggest fires in Sonoma and Napa Counties started within 15 minutes of each other from 9:45 p.m. to 10 p.m. By midnight fires also burned in Mendocino and Lake Counties. There were 8,900 structures that were destroyed. It would take 23 days before all the fires were contained.

RELATED: The North Bay Wildfires: One Year Later

Ceremonies to remember and reflect started this weekend. Sunday night, neighbors gathered in Downtown Sonoma to honor those who lost their lives. A bell rang 44 times, once for each life lost in last year's fires. The ceremony in Sonoma Plaza also included the lighting of the "Love Sculpture" to honor the victims and survivors.

Ceremonies will also take place today, including one planned by Sonoma County and Santa Rosa officials. It will be held at Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa. The event starts at 4 p.m. with a public art expression. The public is invited to use chalk to draw on sidewalks around
Courthouse Square at 6 p.m. the memorial begins. It will include a bell ringing to remember those who lost their lives in the fire.

For more stories and video about the North Bay Fires go to this page.
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