More evacuations as death toll in California fires reaches 40

A helicopter drops water on a wind driven wildfire in Orange, California, U.S., October 9, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Fast-moving fires spread by shifting winds forced thousands more Californians to evacuate their homes on Saturday as the death toll from the deadliest blaze recorded in the state’s history rose to at least 40, with hundreds of people still missing.

More than 10,000 firefighters supported by air tankers and helicopters overhead were battling 16 major wildfires, some encompassing several smaller merged blazes, in areas north of San Francisco that have consumed nearly 214,000 acres (86,000 hectares) over seven days, or roughly 334 square miles (865 sq km) – an area larger than New York City.

The 40 confirmed fatalities, including 22 in Sonoma County, already make it the deadliest fire event in California history.