10 dead as California fire becomes deadliest of year

GRIDLEY, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California wildfire that destroyed a foothill hamlet has become the state’s deadliest blaze of the year with 10 people confirmed dead — and the toll could climb as searchers look for 16 missing people.

Authorities say the North Complex fire that exploded in wind-driven flames earlier in the week is advancing more slowly Friday after the winds eased and smoke from the blaze shaded the area and lowered the temperature, allowing firefighters to make progress.

That was a change from the hot weather and gusty winds that two days earlier sent flames exploding through foothills northeast of San Francisco, destroying at least 2,000 buildings.

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