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As fast-moving wildfires spark evacuations and devastate communities, California residents shared these first-hand videos.
USA TODAY

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — A cluster of devastating wildfires that has killed at least 17 people and destroyed more than 2,000 homes and businesses raged unchecked across the state’s treasured wine country, decimating vineyards and forcing desperate residents to find shelter.

Tens of thousands of Californians fled their homes, many of them holing up in shelters that authorities said could be operating for several days. Power outages and cellphone disruptions added to the chaos amid the fast-spreading blazes, prompting hundreds of missing persons reports.

The fires, fueled by dry grasses and brush, heat and low humidity, were fanned by wind gusts reaching almost 80 mph. Conditions improved somewhat on Tuesday, and the…