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Huge fires sweep through Northern California as wind keeps churning

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A thick cloud of black smoke rises from a burning junkyard in American Canyon on Sunday

Fourteen rapidly moving wildfires have consumed 57,000 acres and forced 20,000 people to evacuate their homes in California, authorities said Monday afternoon.

Brown issued the declaration on Monday, as multiple fires forced people to evacuate their homes.

In video posted on Twitter specialists were seen wheeling a patient in a healing center bed out of Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Santa Rosa to security.

As of 6:35 p.m. on October 8, the Freeway Fire in Tehama County was 100 percent contained.

Mandatory evacuations are in place for several areas, including Porter Creek and the Petrified Forest. He said firefighters are concentrating on saving lives rather than battling the blazes.

The city of Santa Rosa warned residents in areas evacuated because of the large fire today not to return home until they are notified.

Smoke from the fires drifted into San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jonathan Cox reported several injuries. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties as officials estimated the fire had wiped out "well in excess of" 50 structures. Yuba County Fairgrounds has opened as an emergency shelter that can take large animals.

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Cal Fire has ordered 24 strike teams from as far away as San Francisco to try to deal with this unprecedented situation, Belia Ramos, the chair of the Napa County Board of Supervisors told the Register.

Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa: In a statement at 11:30 a.m., the arts center said the main building of the complex had suffered "minimal damage, but that classrooms and the center's east end are destroyed".

Major roadways along Napa Valley are closed as officials try to fight the fires, which the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said has "spread very quickly" since starting Sunday night.

If O'Gorman hadn't been coming home from work to wake her family, "we would have been in the house trapped", she said.

The wildfires, which started Sunday in Calistoga, a city in Napa County, and burned west through canyons and over hills, burned out of control early Monday.

"I'm probably not going to", she says. Fires were burning on both sides of Highway 12 in swirling winds, with gusts of 5o to 60 miles per hour. "We are not on scene yet and haven't been able to determine the best evacuation route".

Forecasters said winds will remain strong on Monday morning but are expected to ease by midday. KPIX reported flames near the Domaine Carneros winery.

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