California wildfires have killed 21 people

SONOMA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on wildfires in California (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

Authorities say some of the most destructive wildfires in California’s history have killed 21 people.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Chief Ken Pimlott gave an updated death toll Wednesday, calling the series of wildfires in wine country “a serious, critical, catastrophic event.”

He says 8,000 firefighters are focusing on protecting lives and property as they battle the flames chewing through critically dry vegetation.

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11:15 a.m.

Authorities in Northern California say they have discovered a body at a burned home, bringing the number of people killed by wildfires to 18.

The Yuba County Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page that deputies found the remains Tuesday after a resident asked for a welfare check on a family friend who was missing.

The office says the body was found in the Loma Rica area, where another body was found earlier.

People have also died in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties.

The fires north of San Francisco are among the deadliest in California history.

The blazes have also left at least 180 people injured and have destroyed more than 3,500 homes and businesses.

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10:35 a.m.

Sonoma County officials say 670 people are still listed as missing from fires in California wine country.

But Sheriff Robert Giordano said Wednesday that many of those people may have been found but have not yet updated a registry of missing people.

Desperate family members and friends are turning to social media with pleas for help finding loved ones missing from the 22 fires in Northern California.

It’s unclear if some of those people are actually OK.

Authorities pleaded with previously missing people to mark themselves as safe on the registry and alert authorities.

Napa County Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht says many people are staying with somebody else and haven’t checked in.

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9:30 a.m.

A California fire official says at least 3,500 homes and businesses have been…

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