AN onslaught of wildfires across northern California has swallowed up properties from wineries to trailer parks and ripped through tiny rural towns and urban areas.

At least 11 people are dead, with 100 injured, and 1500 homes and businesses have been destroyed. These figures are expected to surge as more information is reported.

Taken as a group, the fires are already among the deadliest in California history.

Loading article content

Some of the largest of the 14 blazes burning over a 200-mile region were in Napa and Sonoma counties, home to dozens of wineries that attract tourists from around the world. They sent smoke as far south as San Francisco, about 60 miles away.

Sonoma County said it has received more than 100 missing-person reports as family and friends scramble to locate loved ones.

Much of the damage was in Santa Rosa, a far larger and more developed city than usually finds itself at the mercy of a wildfire.

Former San Francisco Giants pitcher Noah Lowry was forced to flee in minutes with his wife and three children.

He said: “I can’t shake hearing people scream in terror as the flames barrelled down on us.”