San Francisco (AP) - The devastating forest fires in the US state of California have claimed more lives.
Sheriff Kory Honea announced at a press conference on Wednesday evening (local time) that three bodies were found in a fire zone in Butte County just under 300 kilometers north of San Francisco.
The victims have not yet been identified.
The so-called North Complex Fire in the rural region spread rapidly on Wednesday and displaced thousands of people.
According to the fire department, 2000 buildings there were damaged or burned down completely.
The fires in Butte County raged near the village of Paradise, which was almost completely destroyed by the so-called Camp Fire in November 2018.
85 people died at that time, tens of thousands were made homeless.
Further south in the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Creek Fire, which had been raging since Friday, continued to spread.
The forest fire has already destroyed more than 60 houses on an area of more than 675 square kilometers and was zero percent under control on Wednesday, as the fire department said.
The smoke from two dozen fires in California covered much of the west coast state.
In the San Francisco area the sky turned orange-red.
It stayed dark all day, the sun unable to break through the layers of fog and smoke.
Local residents described the phenomenon as “apocalyptic” and as “Marshimmel” on social media.
"Some of our animals were irritated because the sun did not come out," said zoo spokeswoman Nancy Chan the "San Francisco Chronicle".
Some enclosures with birds and koalas have been artificially lit.
14,000 firefighters fought against 28 major forest fires in the west coast state on Wednesday.
A record area of more than 10,000 square kilometers of land has already been destroyed this year.
According to the fire brigade, eight people have been killed in the past few weeks, including two emergency services.
With the deaths that became known on Wednesday, this number has now increased further.
Fires also raged in the neighboring west coast states of Oregon and Washington.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200910-99-500304 / 2
Cal Fire Butte County
Cal Fire to North Complex Fire
San Francisco Chronicle