Wildfires force evacuations in Northern California

SANTA ROSA, Calif.  — Firefighters are battling several wind-whipped fires that forced evacuations of rural neighborhoods in Northern California.

The Press Democrat reports  that mandatory evacuations were ordered after a blaze broke out late Sunday near Santa Rosa, which is 54 miles (87 kilometers) north of San Francisco.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were dispatched to help firefighters and California Highway Patrol officers with evacuations.

Multiple fires broke out Sunday night as strong winds buffeted the area. Emergency lines were inundated with callers reporting smoke in the area.

Downed trees were blocking parts of one rural road and fires were burning on both sides of Highway 12 as gusts reached up to 60 mph (96.5 kph).

Cal Fire says firefighters were battling a 200-acre (80.9-hectare) fire in Napa County.