UPDATE: 4:15 p.m. EDT -- Officials confirmed Monday that at least one person died and two were seriously injured in the fires in California. Fourteen fires continued to rage in eight counties, including Sonoma County and Napa County. Some 20,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes, while the fires have destroyed at least 1,500 structures and 57,000 acres of land.

Original story:

Massive fires ripped through the city of Santa Rosa in California Sunday, prompting evacuations across Sonoma County. The fire crossed Highway 101 in Santa Rosa as winds of up to 50 mph carried the flames through the region, forcing mandatory evacuations and closing schools and businesses.

A single fire in Santa Rosa burned at least 20,000 acres by early Monday morning, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for a multitude of neighborhoods in Santa Rosa as well as two hospitals in the region.

“This is a life-threatening event,” the city warned. “Evacuation means that you need to LEAVE IMMEDIATELY!”

The fire is believed to have begun Sunday evening somewhere near Highway 128 and moved toward Santa Rosa. At least five fires have been reported in northern California, including those in Napa, Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties, according to ABC News.

“Everyone in Sonoma County is spreading out fighting these fires, but they don’t have enough resources to handle something like this,” said Windsor Fire Chief Jack Piccinini, according to the Washington Post. “The only thing we can do is hope the wind will come down.”

Local reports told of residents running on foot after flames advanced too fast for them to prepare to evacuate. As of Monday morning, it remained unclear whether there were any injuries or fatalities as a result of the fires. At least two hospitals in Santa Rosa were evacuated as the flames spread. Shelters opened in safe regions to accommodate those who were forced to flee their homes as the fires advanced.

Officials in Sonoma County urged residents to only call 911 if “you see actual unattended flames” after emergency dispatchers were inundated with calls reporting smoke. Photos out of Santa Rosa showed widespread flames and gridlocked traffic as residents tried to get out.

“People are running red lights,” Ron Dodds, who went to Santa Rosa Monday to pick up his uncle, told KTVU-TV. “There is chaos ensuing. It’s a scary time. It looks like Armageddon.”