Number of buildings lost in wine country wildfires rises to 8,700; years of recovery ahead, officials say

A homeowner displays an American flag amidst the destruction from a wildfire.
(Kent Porter / Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

Sonoma County officials are cautioning a full recovery from wildfires that devastated Northern California earlier this could take years.

But Sheriff Rob Giordano says he has seen remarkable resolve from community members and first responders. He is speaking at a memorial ceremony in Santa Rosa, one of the hardest-hit cities from the nearly two dozen wildfires.

California fire officials have updated the number of buildings destroyed by wildfires that ripped through Northern California to 8,700.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared Saturday a “Day of Remembrance” for the wildfire victims. At least 42 people died.


Officials are praising fire responders who refused to leave the front lines of the fires as well as those who provided them food, water and resources as they battled the flames.

Nancy Pelosi, the top U.S. House Democrat, tells the crowd that “love is thicker than smoke.”