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Grim search for victims as wildfires grow to size of NYC

By ELLEN KNICKMEYER and JOCELYN GECKER
Associated Press

SONOMA, Calif. (AP) – Teams with cadaver dogs began a grim search Thursday for more dead in parts of California wine country devastated by wildfires, resorting in some cases to serial numbers stamped on medical implants to identify remains that turned up in the charred ruins.

Many of the flames still burned out of control, and the fires grew to more than 300 square miles (777 square kilometers), an area as large as New York City.

Sonoma and Napa counties endured a fourth day of choking smoke while many residents fled to shelters or camped out on beaches to await word on their homes and loved ones.

PHOTOS: Wildfires burn in Northern California wine country
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A forecast for gusty winds and dry air threatened to fan the fires, which claimed their 29th victim and were fast becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history.

Some of the state’s most historic tourist…


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