Thousands flee as US wildfires kill eight THE death toll from wildfires raging through Northern California reached eight yesterday, as tens of thousands fled the infernos that have turned homes and businesses to ashes.

It is believed the mammoth blazes raging across the western coast of the US are likely to get even worse, with more high winds forecast.

The gale force winds whipped the fl ames into a fiery tornado which reduced the scenic Shasta-Trinity region to ashes, destroying homes and scorching more than 180 square miles.

The town of Redding had to be almost totally evacuated, displacing 37,000 people.

Police yesterday appealed for help in locating two people who were still missing.

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