A firefighter holds a water hose while fighting a wildfire Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Santa Rosa, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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Authorities hope weaker winds will help more than 10,000 firefighters battle the deadliest blazes in California history, which have killed at least 40 people and destroyed thousands of structures in one of the state's worst natural disasters in years.The 40 confirmed fatalities, including 22 in Sonoma County, make it California's deadliest-ever fire event, surpassing the 29 deaths from the Griffith Park fire of 1933 in Los Angeles.With 235 people still missing on Saturday in Sonoma County alone and rubble from thousands of incinerated dwellings yet to be searched, authorities expect the death toll to climb. Some 100,000 people have been forced from their homes, including 3,000 on Saturday from the city of Santa Rosa, about 80 km north of San Francisco. The fires have damaged or destroyed about 5,700 structures, reducing homes and businesses to ash. Fire officials said the Tubbs fire, between Calistoga and Santa Rosa, was about 44 percent contained, while another in wine country, the Atlas fire, was at 45 percent.
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