16 Oct 2017

California wildfires: 'Our eyes are burning'

From Morning Report, 6:39 am on 16 October 2017

The wildfires which have devastated a major Californian wine region are now known to have killed at least 40 people. The fires are still spreading. Ninety-thousand people have been displaced so far; and hundreds more people are missing.

Large parts of the state including Sonoma and Napa Counties and the city of Santa Rosa have been affected. Rachel Hundley is the mayor of Sonoma and says it's been a very rough 24 hours.

California correspondent Rachel Silverman describes the scene to us. "We all have sore throats, our eyes are burning, it's a massive fire. It's claimed at least 40 lives... so many memories are gone," she says.

Later on Morning Report Auckland Robett Hollis in California told us the devastation looked like "photos of Hiroshima after the bomb".