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California wildfire toll reaches 29

IANS | San Francisco |

The toll from the devastating wildfire raging across the the US state of California has risen to 29 even as over 8,000 firefighters are trying to control the massive blaze.

California Governor Jerry Brown offered his sympathy on Thursday to the victims of the wildfire, and will visit the affected areas soon, Xinhua news agency reported.

The firefighters are combating the blaze mainly in the Bay area of western California but gusty winds and low humidity expected in the coming days would continue to challenge them and increase the risk for new fire.

At least 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed and more than 190,000 acres have burned since the fires ignited late on Sunday, the media reports said.

Brown’s spokesman Evan Westrup was quoted as saying the Governor intends to travel to the fire zones but not immediately so that his visit doesn’t take away critical resources needed to combat the blaze.

“Our focus is on getting resources where they’re needed most, not pulling them away for photo-ops with the governor,” Westrup said.

Twenty-two blazes are ravaging primarily across eight counties in Northern California, spawning one of the most devastating fire disasters in the state’s history.

“We aren’t in any way finished. Some places are beginning to be contained. But the fires are burning and the winds can come up. They aren’t as calm as we would like them to be. The next couple days are very serious for California,” Brown said.