California Wildfires

Fires in Southern California have now broken out in northern San Diego County, in the rural towns of Bonsall and Oceanside. The Lilac Fire has destroyed buildings and evacuations are underway.

John Sepulvado (@JohnLGC) of KQED joins Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson with the latest.

The wildfires in Northern California cut across a wide swath of the state — including dozens of school districts, hundreds of schools and hundreds of thousands of students. At one point, classes were canceled for 260,000 students in 600 schools.

And while schools are slowly coming back on line, there remain many that may not resume classes for days or even weeks.

For more than a week, Marisol Paniagua has been living at an evacuation center. She had been scheduled to pick grapes at a vineyard near the city of Santa Rosa, Calif. But that work was canceled because of the wildfires ravaging Northern California.

"It's very difficult right now because we just have a little bit of gas left in our car. That's how we are still able to drive around," said Paniagua, 37. "But the fact is, we have nothing."

One of the youngest victims in the Northern California wildfires was 14-year-old Kai Logan Shepherd of Redwood Valley. His family is trying to survive his loss, and their own injuries. His mother, father and sister were seriously burned and have undergone multiple surgeries.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with the children’s aunt, Mindi Ramos, who has started a fundraiser to help the Shepherds rebuild their life.

In Northern California, two intoxicants are king — wine and weed.

Both products drive the $3.2 billion-a-year tourism industry in Napa and Sonoma counties. But as wildfires continue to rage through the region this week, marijuana growers and winemakers are struggling to keep their crops safe.

The night before the fire overtook LeRoy and Donna Halbur, the couple had dinner at their home north of Santa Rosa, Calif., with their eldest son, Dave, his wife and their 2-year-old son. Dave Halbur remembers it as a typical Sunday dinner with his folks.

We "had Chinese food and talked. It was a really nice evening," Halbur recalls.

The fire came through a few hours later in the early morning darkness. By Monday, Dave Halbur had heard nothing from his parents. LeRoy and Donna Halbur were both 80.

Updated at 11:50 p.m. ET

Even as many of the thousands of people forced to evacuate from deadly California wildfires were being allowed to return to their homes, yet another fire has started in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Authorities said 60 people were still missing on Tuesday from the fires that have killed at least 42 people, destroyed more than 6,000 homes and burned through some 200,000 acres of the state.

The toll from the Northern California wildfires continues to mount. More than 40 people have perished. Hundreds of homes have been destroyed. Farms, cars, livelihoods, artifacts of lives lived. In times like these, sometimes the only thing people have to hold onto are the little stories of survival.

This one is about goats and one very loyal dog.

It was 1 o'clock in the morning on Oct. 9 when Claire Mollard's husband called and told her to pack up some valuables and think about evacuating their home in the Santa Rosa hills in Northern California.

Authorities are increasingly optimistic that they have turned the tide in their week-long battle against the deadliest wildfires in California's history.

Lighter winds were helping firefighters both in the air and on the ground to contain the majority of the biggest fires, and rain forecast for later in the week would further boost their efforts, NPR's David Schaper reports from Santa Rosa.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The winds in northern California remained mostly calm over the weekend, allowing firefighters to finally get the upper hand in the battle against at least 15 wildfires. Here is Cal Fire Incident Commander Bret Gouvea.

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