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By the numbers: Deadly wildfires sweep California

Friends and family are rushing to find out whether loved ones are at hospitals or shelters as deadly fires sweep across wide swaths of California and authorities announced new evacuation orders and new figures on homes and businesses that were loss.

Officials report that thousands of firefighters are battling nearly two dozen blazes in Northern California’s wine country — with additional help on the way.

As firefighters struggle to gain control of any of the fires, Gov. Jerry Brown held a press conference Wednesday and released the latest figures on the fight and response to the fires.

“We have had big fires in the past. This is one of the biggest, most serious, and it’s not over,” Brown said. 

CBS News has compiled some of the key numbers about the fires. All statistics are courtesy of Brown’s office. 

California wildfires by the numbers:

  • 170,000+ acres scorched — or the equivalent of at least 200 Central Parks or nearly 12 Manhattan islands

  • 3rd deadliest fire season in California’s history

  • 21 confirmed deaths so far

  • 3,500 homes and businesses destroyed since Sunday

  • 22 fires burning, up from 17 on Tuesday, in 8 counties

Resources to fight wildfires:

  • 170 fire engines on the way from neighboring states
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Cal Fire/CBS News

Requested from federal resources:

California National Guard response:

  • 700 soldiers and airmen supporting firefighting and evacuation efforts Wednesday
  • Mobilized 1,800 more soldiers and airmen, including 49th Military Brigade
  • 13 type-1 firefighting helicopters, 2 medical evacuation helicopters, 2 observation helicopters
  • Coordinating with Nevada and Oregon National Guard and U.S. Navy and Marine Corp. for firefighting aircraft they have available
  • Flying two unmanned MQ9 Reapers for fire mapping and damage assessments

Meanwhile, cooler weather and moist ocean air has helped the fire fight in Southern California, CBS Los Angeles reports.

The Associated Press reports that the blaze in the Anaheim Hills in Orange County was nearly halfway surrounded and full containment was expected by Saturday, but another round of gusty winds and low humidity levels could arrive late Thursday.

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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