Wildfires tear through California; 10 dead, thousands evacuated

PHOTO: A firefighters walks near a home in Santa Rosa, Calif., Oct. 9, 2017. PlayJeff Chiu/AP
WATCH State of emergency declared in 3 California counties as firefighters attempt to contain wildfires

At least 10 people have died in raging wildfires across California.

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Seventeen fires are burning around the state, with nearly 90,000 acres ablaze thanks to flames fueled by strong winds. The fires have destroyed at least 1,500 structures and forced the evacuation of 20,000 residents.

In Anaheim, hundreds of firefighters have mobilized to fight a blaze burning over an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 acres. Thousands of residents are impacted by the flames.

PHOTO: A firefighter covers his eyes as he walks past a burning hillside in Santa Rosa, Calif., Oct. 9, 2017.Jeff Chiu/AP
A firefighter covers his eyes as he walks past a burning hillside in Santa Rosa, Calif., Oct. 9, 2017.

Ken Pimlott, the director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), said the fires started around 10 p.m. local time Sunday.

With the flames sweeping through entire communities, some area hospitals have been evacuated. Evacuations were also issued for surrounding counties that are under threat, according to the Napa Valley Sheriff's Office.

Pimlott said firefighters are concentrating on saving lives rather than battling the blazes.

The National Weather Service reported strong winds in the San Francisco Bay Area, intensifying the infernos as they tear through businesses and homes.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the counties most at risk. The warning means conditions are critical.

Strong winds, relatively low humidity and warm temperatures can lead to extreme weather, according to the National Weather Service.

PHOTO: The remains of a car sits near the Fountaingrove Inn Hotel as it burns at rear in Santa Rosa, Calif., Oct. 9, 2017.Jeff Chiu/AP
The remains of a car sits near the Fountaingrove Inn Hotel as it burns at rear in Santa Rosa, Calif., Oct. 9, 2017.

The Atlas fire, which is just south of Lake Berryessa in Napa Valley, has scorched 5,000 acres since it started.

The causes of the fires are still under investigation.

PHOTO: Flames consume a home as an out of control wildfire moves through the area, Oct. 9, 2017, in Glen Ellen, California.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Flames consume a home as an out of control wildfire moves through the area, Oct. 9, 2017, in Glen Ellen, California.

PHOTO: Flames ravage a home in the Napa wine region in California, Oct. 9, 2017, as multiple wind-driven fires continue to whip through the region.AFP/Getty Images
Flames ravage a home in the Napa wine region in California, Oct. 9, 2017, as multiple wind-driven fires continue to whip through the region.

Meteorologist Mike Nicco of KGO-TV in San Francisco has been tweeting updates on the fires.

Marin County said on its official Twitter page that it's been overwhelmed with calls from residents.

Churches and community centers are opening their doors to families seeking refuge from the fires.

PHOTO: The remains of fire damaged homes after an out of control wildfire moved through the area, Oct. 9, 2017, in Glen Ellen, California. Getty Images
The remains of fire damaged homes after an out of control wildfire moved through the area, Oct. 9, 2017, in Glen Ellen, California.

PHOTO: A firefighter monitors flames as a house burns in the Napa wine region in California, Oct. 9, 2017, as multiple wind-driven fires continue to whip through the region. Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images
A firefighter monitors flames as a house burns in the Napa wine region in California, Oct. 9, 2017, as multiple wind-driven fires continue to whip through the region.

PHOTO: A map shows the areas of California threatened by wildfires as of Oct. 9, 2017.ABC News
A map shows the areas of California threatened by wildfires as of Oct. 9, 2017.

PHOTO: Trees burn behind houses in a residential area in Santa Rosa, Calif., Oct. 9, 2017. Jeff Chiu/AP
Trees burn behind houses in a residential area in Santa Rosa, Calif., Oct. 9, 2017.

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