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A guest looks on as the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country hotel burns. Photo: Jeff Chiu / AP

"More than a dozen wildfires whipped by powerful winds swept through California wine country Monday," per the AP. The fires have so far destroyed at least 1,500 homes and businesses and forced 20,000 people to flee for safety.

The scale
  • California's fire chief told the AP the fires are "burning throughout an eight-county swath of Northern California, including Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties." Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma and Yuba.
  • "Smoke from the fires drifted into the Bay Area, into San Francisco [which is 60 miles south of the fires] and as far south as San Jose," the LA Times reports.
  • "It was an inferno like you've never seen before," Marian Williams told the AP. "Trees were on fire like torches."
The numbers

Per the LA Times:

  • At least 300 firefighters are battling the blazes, which are burning with winds up to 70 mph
  • 45,000 people are without power and/or cell service in Napa and Sonoma counties.
  • 3 evacuation centers in Napa are almost at capacity.
From the scene
A firefighter monitors a house burning in Santa Rosa, California. Photo: Jeff Chiu / AP
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Go deeper

Updated 54 mins ago - Sports

Japan's Naomi Osaka lights Olympic cauldron, kicking off Tokyo Games

Naomi Osaka lights the Olympic cauldron. Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images

After a year-long delay, the Olympics finally got underway Friday as tennis star Naomi Osaka, who is competing for Japan, lit the cauldron, formally kicking off the Tokyo Games.

The big picture: Friday's opening ceremony looked, like many things over the last year, different than normal — multicolored seats replaced cheering fans, masks were a central part of the athletes' uniforms and a subdued, somber tone marked the occasion.

2 hours ago - World

China sanctions Wilbur Ross, 5 other Americans over Hong Kong warnings

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Chinese government imposed sanctions on Monday against six Americans, including former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in response to an advisory from the Biden administration warning businesses of the increased risks of operating in Hong Kong.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of China responding furiously to U.S. attempts to shed light on human rights abuses in places like Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, which Chinese officials routinely condemn as "interference" in domestic affairs.

3 hours ago - Sports

Cleveland Indians change name to "Guardians"

The Cleveland Indians baseball team announced Friday that it will change its name to the "Guardians," following years of activism and protests against a moniker considered offensive by many Native Americans.

Why it matters: It's the first time the team will change its name since 1915, a move that comes in the wake of the nationwide racial reckoning that began with the murder of George Floyd.