Many people are missing, with reports that escape roads were blocked by fire and downed trees in northern California wine country.
By Sharon Marris, News Reporter
At least 10 people are dead and two have been seriously injured in fires in Northern California.
A state of emergency has been declared in Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties, north of San Francisco Bay.
They are among eight counties affected by 14 major fires, which have burned through more than 49,000 acres and destroyed at least 1,500 homes.
There were mandatory evacuations for up to 20,000 people late on Sunday but some residents found that escape roads were blocked by downed trees and flames.
One of the deaths occurred in Mendocino County and two others were in Napa County. The other seven were in Sonoma County.
The two people who were seriously injured have severe burns and are in a critical condition in hospital.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle. more than 100 people have been treated for injuries, including burns and smoke inhalation, at hospitals in Napa and Sonoma counties.
In Napa County, fire chief Barry Biermann said the fires had burned more than 68 square miles but crews were struggling to control the flames.
He added: "Right now, with these conditions, we can't get ahead of this fire and do anything about the forward progress."
The largest city in the fire area is Santa Rosa, with a population of about 175,000. There, houses and business were ruined, schools were closed and two hospitals were forced to evacuate hundreds of patients.
A Hilton Hotel was among the buildings that were left in ruins.
Jeff Okrepkie, who had lived in his Santa Rosa home for five years, had fled but was later sent a photo of what remained of his home: a heap of burnt metal and debris.
He told Associated Press: "We live in the valley, where it's concrete and strip malls and hotels and supermarkets.
"The last thing you think is a forest fire is going to come and wipe us out."
Smoke was thick in San Francisco, around 60 miles south of the fire in Sonoma County.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection director Ken Pimlott said: "Imagine a wind-whipped fire burning at explosive rates.
"This is 50 miles per hour.
"Literally it's burning into the city of Santa Rosa... burning box stores.
"This is traditionally California's worst time for fires, California's most damaging times for fires have occurred in October."
Further south, there have been more evacuations in California's Orange County due to a fire.
Television showed homes ruined by flames in the Anaheim Hills area, where at least 1,000 homes were previously evacuated.
That fire has grown to 2,000 acres and is being fought by 200 firefighters.
Donald Trump Jr. responded Monday to a joke posted to social media by talk show host Chelsea Handler that mocked his brother Eric’s unborn son.
“The liberal elite’s real hatred is hopefully starting to be apparent to mainstream America,” Trump Jr. wrote in a lengthy Facebook message.
On Monday, Eric Trump announced that his wife Lara is pregnant with their first child. Handler responded to the news by tweeting: “I guess one of @realDonaldTrump‘s sons is expecting a new baby. Just what we need. Another person with those jeans [sic]. Let’s hope for a girl.”
Handler evidently meant to write “genes,” a point not lost on Trump Jr., who slammed the comic on social media.
“Attacking the announcement of someone’s first pregnancy would seem below the belt to most, but sadly that’s no longer the case,” Trump Jr. wrote on Facebook. ” So much for the party of science.”
Handler later apologized for her spelling mistake, but not for the attack on Donald Trump’s granchild.
“Sorry about spelling mistake. I meant “genes,” not “jeans.” I’m a little stoned. What’s your excuse?” Handler wrote.
Eric Trump also piled on Handler, tweeting “Genes” and revealing that “#ItIsaBoy.”
Mosul, Iraq — Reports coming out of Iraq this week are downright terrifying with local media reporting up to as many as 230 innocent civilians slaughtered in US coalition airstrikes — in a single night.
According to the Kurdish media company, Rudaw, 137 people – most believed to be civilians – died when a bomb hit a single building in al-Jadida, in the western side of the city on Thursday. Another 100 were killed nearby.
As the British Telegraph reports, the casualties were “mostly women and children,” and “were pulled from three adjoining houses in the Jadida neighbourhood of west Mosul overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning, according to witnesses.”
“There was so much bombing, and so many deaths,” an elderly woman said of the strikes.
“Pieces of human flesh were flying in all directions.”
According to Antiwar, Central Command said that they were “aware of the loss of life” and were carrying out “further investigation,” while insisting that all of their strikes against Mosul overnight “comply with the Law of Armed Conflict.”
Centcom also reported that “military forces conducted nine strikes consisting of 67 engagements coordinated with and in support of the government of Iraq against ISIS targets.”
“For more than a week there was a stalemate as Iraqi forces struggled to advance on the Old City,
but in the last few days, the fighting has intensified.
“There are air strikes and ISIL is also using civilians homes with civilians in them. People have been caught in crossfire and targeted by ISIL … The shelling is indiscriminate,” said Dekker.
“There is no safe passage out of the city. Civilians are literally everywhere.”
Reports from civilians in Mosul say ISIS fighters are employing tactics such as establishing fighting positions on the rooftops of apartment buildings. These buildings are occupied by innocent civilians and are also the targets of US coalition strikes.
“ISIS made us keep our door open, so they could get onto the roofs at any time. They even broke down the walls between houses so they could move around,” a local resident told RT.