Battling California’s Wildfires is a ‘Non-Stop Operation,’ Says Cal OES Director

The task of attacking and controlling Northern California's 17 large wildfires has been a "non-stop operation," according to the Director of Cal OES, Mark Ghilarducci.

"We're not out of this emergency, not even close," Ghilarducci said.

Four complexes, or groups of two or more fires, have taken over Northern California.

The Central Lake Napa Unit Complex encompasses Sonoma County, including the Tubbs, Pocket and Nuns fires. The Atlas and Patrick fires are in the South LNU Complex of Napa County. The Mendocino-Lake LNU Complex includes the Redwood, Potter and Sulphur fires. The Cascade, McCourtney and Lobo fires fall under the Wind LNU Complex in Nevada, Butte and Yuba counties.

The Central and South complexes are the biggest and pose the largest risk to life and property, according to Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott.

Ghilarducci says the search for the missing is ongoing as the number of those lost as a result of the flames reaches 35, according to the Associated Press.

Statewide, 43 shelters have been set up for those fleeing the growing fires. The shelters have reached 40 percent capacity as 3,900 people crowd in and find refuge. Public services have already served 40,320 meals.

Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott reports that in just the past 24 hours, several thousand new firefighters have joined the upwards of 9,000 personnel from across the nation who have been sent to battle the blazes.

Crews have come from Washington state, Idaho, Montana Nevada, Oregon, Arizona and the Carolinas.

With the 840 local fire engines, 170 out of state fire engines have joined the fight.

On Thursday, power was restored to 17,500 people, while 29,500 people were still without power statewide Friday. Only eight cell towers have been restored after 77 were knocked down as flames took over the landscape.

Chief Pimlott says the good news is that in last 24 hours there has been a significant progress on the fires and containment percentages have risen.

Yet, there has been no information regarding what caused the fires.

Red Flag Warnings were put in place Friday and winds could once again pick up speed, reaching an excess of 45 mph. Additional resources are being pre-deployed across California to prepare for potential fire growth as a result of the wind.