Drone footage just surfaced on Twitter showing the wildfires in Northern California that already have claimed one person’s life, injured many others and destroyed 1500 homes and businesses in what is called one of the worst firestorms in Northern California’s history. An estimated 20,000 people were forced to evacuate as roughly 14 wind-driven wildfires started on Monday. Collectively the fires cover an estimated 57,000 acres in the Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties.

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From wine country to wasteland

The blazes turned the beautiful wine country for large parts into wastelands of burned down fields and buildings. Firefighters have been battling the flames but face a daunting task as powerful winds super-charge the fires.

A state of emergency has been declared by California Gov. Jerry Brown for Napa and Sonoma as well as Yuba County. He said the fires, which covered large parts of the Bay Area in smoke, were “really serious,” but added, “We are on it.”

Brenda Burke, 55, told the LA Times that she had to flee her cottage near the Atlas Peak fire north of Napa. She said:

It was awful, it would move with the wind and you knew when a house went up because there would be a whole slew of smoke and you could hear the propane tanks exploding.

Burke was able to escape unharmed but lost her home and belongings in the raging wildfires.

If you have a drone and are in the area, this is probably not the best time to fly. Do not wait for the FAA to put a temporary flight restriction in place. The last thing you would want to have happen, is your drone getting in the way of airplanes and helicopters fighting these fires. Be smart. Don’t fly. And above all stay safe!

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