California wildfires destroy entire neighborhoods

The 17 wildfires have scorched more than 115,000 acres, destroyed at least 2,000 homes and businesses and left at least 17 dead, authorities said.
4:28 | 10/11/17

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Transcript for California wildfires destroy entire neighborhoods
First catastrophic wildfires in California. Take a look at the destruction and people are coming home to this. Some say it looks like the apocalypse. It really does and the saddest news of it all, at least 17 wildfires still burning across the state, most in north California but a daupgous one tearing through Anaheim. At least 17 people have been killed so far and there are new mandatory evacuations issued for parts of sonoma and napa counties overnight. More than 2,000 structures, home, hotel, wineries destroyed. Not just the flames but wind, smoke, also causing emergencies. Our senior national correspondent Matt Gutman starts us off in the devastated town of Santa Rosa. Good morning, Matt. Reporter: Good morning, George. Those fires again on the March tonight and overnight just over the past couple of hours that fresh batch of evacuation orders. We've seen thousands of people on the road, on the move and this is what they're so afraid of coming home to, George. These images now seared in our brain. Husks of cars, melted metal everywhere you look and the scene of scorched Earth block off block of incinerated homes and so many of these places, the only thing left standing are those chimneys. Firefighters continue to defend downtown Santa Rosa from the onslaught of flames from the ground and from the air, residents taking stock of all they have lost in the heart of the California wine country. A lot of people lost a lot of houses. We lost businesses, big buildings, small buildings, I feel for you. I apologi apologize. Reporter: All around the haunting ruins of what was. Cars immolated. This vehicle melted into an aluminum puddle. Personally I think it will be one of the worst disasters in California history. Reporter: The fires claiming at least 17 lives across the state. It is with sorrow that I tell you today that we have confirmed two fatalities, Charles and Sara Rippey. Reporter: The couple had been together for 75 years. In napa county one winery owner returning to the remains of his building, he says he watched the flames engulf the property using a security camera app on his phone and back here in Santa Rosa new residents returning to buildings crumbled. We found Brady in the house he grew up in. What are you supposed to do? Everybody, everybody you have ever known and everybody's house, absolutely nuts. Reporter: In his palm that sliver of steel. Your personal dog tags. The ones I deployed with. Wow. After I deployed I gave them to my dad. Out of an entire house this is the most important thing. For me, yeah. Anyways, I spent 12 months of my life in Iraq wearing these things. They mean a lot to me. You got goose bumps right now. I do, it's crazy. It's mind blowing. Reporter: According to officials more than 180 people remain missing this morning. One of them had been Steve liner, we met his brother Al who was getting desperate. Are you worried about him? Very, yeah. Yeah. So we drove him in. Called him a number of times. I've gone up to the V.A. To see if he's checked in with the V.A. I've gone on Facebook and posted some stuff on Facebook. Reporter: Destruction everywhere but not on his brother's street. Is that him? That's him. I've been looking for two days for you guys. Sheriff's officials tell me they expect to find most but not all of those missing people. They do expect the death toll to rise. That is the state of California, asking for reinforcements of firefighters from out of state. That's how strapped they are. But a sliver of good news, guys. You might remember Chris pond. We saw her yesterday digging through the rubble. She was looking for her wedding ring. She was crying hysterically. Well, she just facebooked us this morning telling us that she found that ring. So a bit of good news this morning. Tiny bit of encourage. What a wasteland in Santa Rosa. It's heartbreaking to look at those images. Those brothers reconnect is the great news about it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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