Lessons From Disastrous Wine Country Fires Helped In Battling Southern California Infernos

Both sieges began in darkness with fierce winds that made the flames impossible to stop. Hurricane-force gusts pushed the flames over highways that should have been barriers and into neighborhoods so quickly that officials said they were helpless to protect the homes in their path. The wine country fires that ravaged Northern California in October and the firestorm in Southern California this month have capped the most destructive year for fires in state history.