California wildfires have killed at least 21 people

A wildfire from a distant mountain burns over a vineyard in Kenwood, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. Some of the largest blazes in Northern California were in Napa and Sonoma counties, home to dozens of wineries that attract tourists from around the world. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SONOMA, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say some of the most destructive wildfires in California's history have killed 21 people.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Chief Ken Pimlott gave an updated death toll Wednesday, calling the series of wildfires in wine country "a serious, critical, catastrophic event."

Pimlott says 8,000 firefighters are focusing on protecting lives and property as they battle the flames blazing through the dry vegetation.