Wildfires forced thousands to evacuate in California.
Wildfires forced thousands to evacuate in California. (YouTube/KRON4)

At least 10 people have died in a spate of wildfires fanned by strong winds through northern California's wine country, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on Monday.

Some 15 fires raging largely unchecked across eight northern California counties, including the state's primary wine-making regions in Napa and Sonoma counties, have also destroyed some 1,500 homes and businesses and forced the evacuation of an estimated 20,000 people, authorities said.

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