Terrifying photos show deadly wildfires rampaging across California

The fires moved faster than many people could escape. Sweeping across the hills and valleys of California's wine country, and eventually extending up and down the state, at least 14 large fires advanced with deadly speed amid powerful "Diablo" and "Santa Ana" offshore winds.

The fires in northern California proved especially deadly, with the death toll standing at 10 as of Monday at 9 p.m. ET, but it's expected to rise. Seven of these fatalities were in Sonoma County alone. 

The city of Santa Rosa, population 175,000, was especially hard hit, with hundreds of structures burned to the ground, from a Hilton hotel to a high school, as well as row after row of homes.

See the photos below:

10 PHOTOS
Apocalyptic images of California's wildfires
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Apocalyptic images of California's wildfires
TOPSHOT - An inmate firefighter monitors flames as a house burns in the Napa wine region in California on October 9, 2017, as multiple wind-driven fires continue to whip through the region. / AFP PHOTO / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Firefighters assess the scene as a house burns in the Napa wine region of California on October 9, 2017, as multiple wind-driven fires continue to ravage the area burning structures and causing widespread evacuations. / AFP PHOTO / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Before & after. Signorello Vineyards in Napa #napafire #calfires #winecountry https://t.co/EMdn64nz3z
Flames overtake a structure as nearby homes burn in the Napa wine region in California on October 9, 2017, as multiple wind-driven fires continue to whip through the region. / AFP PHOTO / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
A truck burns as fire ravages the Napa wine region in California on October 9, 2017, as multiple wind-driven fires continue to whip through the region. / AFP PHOTO / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Flames shoot out from a window as the Signorello Estate winery burns in the Napa wine region of California on October 9, 2017. More than a dozen fast-moving wildfires tearing through through California's wine country have killed at least 10 people, destroying hundreds of homes, authorities said on October 9. / AFP PHOTO / Josh Edelson (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
CALIFORNIA, USA - OCTOBER 10: A view of a San Francisco gulf as smoke covers the sun as a wildfire from the Santa Rosa and Napa Valley moves through the area in California, United States on October 10, 2017. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
CALIFORNIA, USA - OCTOBER 10: A view of a San Francisco gulf as smoke covers the sun as a wildfire from the Santa Rosa and Napa Valley moves through the area in California, United States on October 10, 2017. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
CALIFORNIA, USA - OCTOBER 10: A view of a San Francisco gulf as smoke covers the sun as a wildfire from the Santa Rosa and Napa Valley moves through the area in California, United States on October 10, 2017. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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"It has been a horrific and terrifying night for a great many people," said Santa Rosa Police Department, acting chief Craig Schwartz.  

While the proximate causes of the blazes are unknown, once ignited, the fire weather conditions were all it took to spread the flames at deadly speeds. In Sonoma County, the offshore winds exceeded hurricane force, gusting as high as 79 miles per hour, overnight Sunday. Gusts to 55 miles per hour were common across the San Francisco Bay Area on Sunday night and Monday.

These winds, known as Diablo winds in northern California, result from the air circulation around an area of high pressure parked over inland areas. This weather feature causes air to sink, compressing down mountainsides and accelerating through canyons. In the process, the air temperature rises and moisture content drops.

The images from these fires are apocalyptic, and heart-wrenching.

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