A swarm of wildfires ripped through Napa and Sonoma counties early Monday, destroying hundreds of homes and businesses, forcing thousands of people to flee and turning wide swaths of the Wine Country into wastelands of twisted metal and ash as firefighters sought to halt the advance of flames super-charged by powerful winds.

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Napa and Sonoma as well as fire-struck Yuba County, seeking to streamline aid for firefighting and recovery. He said the situation was “really serious,” but added, “We are on it.” There were no immediate reports of deaths or serious injuries.

One fire roared in the Atlas Peak area of Napa County, a famed winemaking area northeast of the Silverado Trail, where at least 50 structures were leveled. Another burned north of Carneros, and still another near Kenwood, east of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County.

Perhaps the worst damage came in the jagged path of an out-of-control blaze in and around northern Santa Rosa called the Tubbs Fire, which had burned at least 35,000 acres by Monday morning, according to officials. The fire had started Sunday in Calistoga and burned west through canyons and over hills.

Scores of homes were lost in the Fountaingrove area east of Highway 101 and in other neighborhoods including the Journey’s End Mobile Home Park for seniors. The Fountaingrove Inn burned, as did the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country, a Kmart, a McDonald’s, an Arby’s and an Applebee’s.

And that was just the beginning. So vast was the damage, and so sweeping the evacuations, that Santa Rosa, a city of 175,000 people, was a virtual ghost town from side to side, with most schools and businesses shuttered. Read more at SFGATE