The Latest: Fires force evacuations in Northern California

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SONOMA, Calif. – The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):

6:07 a.m.

Residents of Northern California wine country are describing harrowing escapes from wind-whipped wildfires.

Marian Williams says she caravanned with neighbors through flames early Monday as one of several fires reached the vineyards and ridges of the small Sonoma County town of Kenwood.

Williams says she could feel the heat as trees turned into torches.

The fires are being fanned by strong, dry and gusty winds raking the region.

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1:53 a.m.

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.

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