California governor asks people to help each other as wildfire death toll climbs to 40

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-15 12:22:46|Editor: Yamei
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Photo taken on Oct. 13, 2017 shows a burnt residential area in Santa Rosa, California, the United States. An estimated 5 percent of the housing stock, or 3,500 homes and businesses, in Santa Rosa city were burned in wildfires ravaging North Bay of western California, Mayor Chris Coursey told Xinhua on Friday. (Xinhua/Wu Xiaoling)

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- The governor of the U.S. state of California Jerry Brown Saturday encouraged people impacted by wildfires raging in northern California to help each in disaster-relief during an inspection tour to Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, about 80 km north of San Francisco.

At a short news briefing at Santa Rosa High School in Santa Rosa Saturday afternoon, Brown called the ongoing disaster "one of the greatest tragedies California has ever faced."

"A town like this -- firefighters, elected officials, neighbors -- it's a real example of how America pulls together," Brown told reporters as the death toll in the northern California wildfires climbed to a new high of 40 by Saturday.

He told residents that the danger remains and urged them to evacuate when asked to do so.

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who was accompanying Brown during the inspection tour, pledged to find additional funding for people affected by the fire.

"We are going to do everything in our power to see that people are served," Feinstein said. "The dollars have to come."

The Sonoma County coroner's office reported two more fire deaths Saturday evening, bringing the total deaths in the county to 22, and the total for all North Bay and Northern California fires to 40.

At least 5,700 homes and business structures have been destroyed and about 300 people remain missing since the blazes began on Sunday. Hundreds of thousands of people in northern California had to be evacuated during the most deadly fire disaster in the state's history.