SANTA ROSA, Calif. (NBC News) – The death toll from California’s wildfires continues to grow.
At least 26 people are confirmed dead, and nearly 500 more are unaccounted for.
Crews continue to struggle against the 22 separate fires that are currently burning across Northern California’s wine country, but calming winds are offering some hope.
“So far in the recovery we have found bodies that were almost completely in tact and we have found bodies that were nothing more than ash and bones,” said Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano.
“The winds are still predicted to diminish throughout the day, We still have lowering humidities,” Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann said Thursday.
Tens of thousands have been evacuated, and many of those returning to areas already scorched are finding their homes reduced to ashes.
Some 3,500 homes and buildings have burned, including at last count, 17 wineries and an untold number of organic farms popular in the state’s wine country, where the worst of the fires have been raging.