California fires claim 36 lives

36 people have died and 5,700 structures have been destroyed so far in one of the deadliest wildfires in Californian history.

There are multiple blazes going covering a combined area of more than 185,000 acres across the state.

With winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour and humidity at just 10 per cent the National Weather Service is saying “critical fire weather conditions” will “contribute to extreme fire behaviour”.

Firefighters are fighting to control the blazes, but so far they remain mostly out of control, with  the Atlas fire in Napa and Solano counties the most under control at 45% contained.

While the cause of the fires is still being investigated, officials have said Pacific Gas and Electric Company power lines brought down by strong winds on Sunday may be to blame.

Only Lake County used the public notification system, which sends out a signal that overrides the volume control on mobile phones to turn them into alarms.

Other counties chose not to use the warning system, fearing it may cause a panic, hampering efforts to evacuate and to fight the fires.

So far deaths have only been confirmed in counties that chose not to use the warning system.

3.5 million hectares have been burned this wildfire season, making it one of the worst in US history.

In 2015, the worst year on record, around 9.3 million hectares of land burned.

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