California Wildfires: 'Worst Air Quality Ever Recorded' in Bay Area | LMT News

LMT News: California officials have ordered an entire city to evacuate as "conditions have worsened" in the wildfires that have killed 23 people.
All residents of Calistoga were directed to leave the area on Wednesday evening, Napa County officials said.
About 60 prison inmates have joined hard-pressed firefighters in battling the fast-moving blazes, the state fire chief says.
Among the areas scorched by the 22 blazes are marijuana farms.
'Explosive vegetation'
In Wednesday evening's evacuation of Calistoga, in Napa County, all 5,000 residents were told to leave and police blocked traffic from approaching the area.
And traffic quickly clogged the exits from Boyes Hot Springs in Sonoma County as that community was also told to evacuate the advancing wall of flame.
"It's going to continue to get worse before it gets better," state fire Chief Ken Pimlott said.
He warned that the death toll could rise further.
"We are still impacted by five years of drought. These fires were driven by the critically dry fuel bed. We are literally looking at explosive vegetation," he added.
The devastating wildfires, which brought wind gusts of up to 45mph (72km/h), have destroyed at least 3,500 buildings and homes.
Renewed high winds are fanning the "catastrophic" blazes, said state fire officials, which are spreading unpredictably in their fourth day.
Firefighters continue to battle the unprecedented wildfires ravaging Northern California.
As of Wednesday, the fast-moving blazes—aided by high winds and low humidity—have burned nearly 170,000 acres and destroyed at least 3,500 homes and commercial structures since the outbreak started Sunday.
The confirmed death toll has risen to 23, with 285 reported missing. Thousands have been forced to flee due tomandatory evacuations.
A forecast of of high winds on Thursday could deteriorate conditions.
"We're not going to be out of the woods for a great many days to come," Cal Fire director Ken Pimlott said at a news conference yesterday.
California's drought-busting rains from last winter led to "explosive vegetation," as Pimlott said, and a hot and dry summer left the brush and other vegetation tinder-dry, stoking the flames.

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