SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) - Officials say it will take at least months and likely years to fully recover from devastating wildfires that ripped through Northern California earlier this month, killing 42 people and destroying at least 8,900 structures.
Sheriff Rob Giordano said Saturday "We don't control these things, and it makes you realize how small you are in the world when something like this happens."
Giordano spoke before hundreds of people gathered at a college in Santa Rosa, one of the hardest-hit cities, for a memorial service to honor the lives lost.
The deadliest series of wildfires in California history started Oct. 8, eventually forcing 100,000 people to evacuate.
U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and five members of Congress attended the memorial, toured fire-ravaged areas and heard federal, state and local officials describe what Congress can do to aid the recovery efforts.