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Northern California town of Calistoga now under mandatory evacuation

CALISTOGA, Calif. - Authorities are ordering all residents of the Northern California town of Calistoga to evacuate, saying "conditions have worsened."
    
The Napa County Sheriff's Office says in an alert sent via cellphone and email that residents need to leave by 5 p.m. Wednesday.
    
Earlier, officials went through the town of 5,000 people, knocking on doors to warn about 2,000 of them to leave.
    
Dangerous gusty winds and low moisture were forecast to reach the region Wednesday afternoon, fanning already raging wildfires.
    
In neighboring Sonoma County, authorities issued an evacuation advisory for the northern part of the town of Sonoma and the community of Boyes Hot Springs. By then, lines of cars were already fleeing the community.
    
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1:20 p.m.
    
Officials say they have thousands of firefighters battling 22 blazes burning in Northern California and that more are coming from nearby states.
    
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Chief Ken Pimlott says close to 8,000 firefighters have been deployed and are fighting the blazes by air and on the ground.
    
Pimlott says Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and Washington are sending firefighters and the U.S. Forest Service is sending fire engines, bulldozers and hand crews.
    
He also says there are concerns several fires could merge into one big blaze. The fires north of San Francisco are among the deadliest in California history.
    
The blazes have also left at least 180 people injured and have destroyed more than 3,500 homes and businesses.  More than 4,400 people were staying in shelters Wednesday.
    
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12:25 p.m.
    
California Gov. Jerry Brown warns that catastrophic wildfires will keep ripping through the state as the climate warms.
    
Brown told reporters Wednesday that more people are living in communities close to forests and brush that easily ignite because of dry weather. Blazes burning in Northern California have become some of the deadliest in state history.
    
He says a warming climate has contributed to catastrophic wildfires and that they will continue to happen. The governor, who's positioned himself as a leader in the fight against climate change, says residents and officials have to be prepared and do everything they can to mitigate the problem.
    
Brown says the federal government has pledged assistance but points out resources also are going to hurricane recovery efforts in Texas and Florida.


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