The Breakdown - California wildfires

Massive wildfires in northern California are well on their way to becoming the deadliest and most damaging in the state's history. Entire neighborhoods have been leveled and 31 people have been killed. We still have not learned what caused the wildfires.

Almost 20,000 people were forced to evacuate from their Calif. homes. Smoke and ash have blanketed parts of Sonoma and Napa counties for a fourth consecutive day. 

Hundreds more people have not been accounted for.

Twenty-two fires, many of them out of control, have scorched more than 191,000 acres of land, which is almost the size of New York City -- 3,500 homes and businesses destroyed.

Teams make the grim announcement that they are now actively searching for bodies and warn that identification may take some time. They are visiting the last known address of the missing people as relatives stand nearby with pictures of their missing family members.  

The fierce fires started on Sunday.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company reports that strong winds on Sunday night uprooted trees and knocked them into power lines. Calif. fire officials are investigating whether those downed power lines started the fires or were merely results of the flames. 

Many families have been forced to flee at a moment's notice.

The smoke is harming people beyond the flames' reach as the fires are thought to have produced as much pollution in two days as all the state's cars do in a year!

8,000 firefighters are trying to get a handle on the fires. 

Calmer winds, expected to last through Friday, may give crews their best chances yet.

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