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Filipino killed in California wildfires -- DFA

A Filipino national was presumed to have perished in the wildfire currently engulfing North  
California’s winery, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano expressed condolences to the family of the
Filipino.
    
The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco reported to the DFA that the Filipino’s
remains, which have yet to be positively identified, were recovered on October 14 in Napa Country.
    
“We offer our sincere sympathies and prayers to the family of our kababayan who perished in
this horrific fire.  I have instructed our Consulate General in San Francisco to offer all possible
assistance to the family and to continue to closely monitor the welfare of other Filipinos in the
affected areas,” said Cayetano.
    
According to Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon Ascalon, the Consulate General in San Francisco
has been in touch with the victim’s family and has offered assistance, especially in coordinating
arrangements for the repatriation of the victim’s remains.
    
“We also continue to communicate with the Filipino community through our social media
advisories, and have offered consular assistance to Filipinos affected by the wildfires.”
    
Approximately 100,000 people have been evacuated from the fires.
    
More than 10,000 firefighters are currently battling 16 large wildfires that, in total, have
burned over 214,000 acres (more than 86,600 hectares).
    
The fires have destroyed 5,700 structures and have claimed at least 40 lives.
    
There are an estimated 13,500 Filipinos living in the Napa, Sonoma, and Yuba counties, which
are the areas most affected by the wildfires.
    
An estimated 4,200 Filipinos live in the other affected counties of Lake, Marin and Mendocino.
    
As of October 14th, red flag warnings remained in effect across Northern California due to
strong north winds, which have increased fire activity.
    
Dry, windy, and hot conditions from late spring through autumn cause periodic wildfires in
California.
    
The most recent wildfire, in 2014, affected more than 134,000 acres (more than 54,000 hectares)
of land.  The largest wildfire in recent history was recorded in 2012, which affected 315,500 acres
(almost 128,000 hectares) of land in California and Nevada.