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In photos: Toll in California wildfires rises to 23, hundreds still missing

Over 20,000 people have fled their homes and moved to evacuation centres across the wine country.

Firefighters on Wednesday night struggled to stop the spread of wildfire in California’s wine country which has now killed at least 23 people, Reuters reported. Over 20,000 people have fled their homes and moved to evacuation centres across the region, The Guardian reported on Thursday. Hundreds of residents are still believed to be missing.

Nearly 5,000 residents in the Napa Valley community left their homes on Wednesday as they feared fresh fires would break out. Wildfires have damaged or demolished at least 13 Napa Valley wineries.

A firefighter works to put out hot spots during the wind-driven wildfire. (Photo Credit: Mike Blake/Reuters)
A firefighter works to put out hot spots during the wind-driven wildfire. (Photo Credit: Mike Blake/Reuters)
An aerial view of the devastation left behind from the North Bay wildfires, north of San Francisco. (Photo Credit: California Highway Patrol/Golden Gate/Reuters)
An aerial view of the devastation left behind from the North Bay wildfires, north of San Francisco. (Photo Credit: California Highway Patrol/Golden Gate/Reuters)

A number of wildfires have charred nearly 170,000 acres of land, and destroyed around 3,500 buildings since Sunday. “We’re still not out of the woods. It’s a very serious situation,” Heather Williams, a spokesperson for Cal Fire, told The Guardian.

Smoke and flame rise from the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country during the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa. (Photo Credit: Stephen Lam/Reuters)
Smoke and flame rise from the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country during the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa. (Photo Credit: Stephen Lam/Reuters)
A DC-10 aircraft drops fire retardant on the wildfire. (Photo Credit: Mike Blake/Reuters)
A DC-10 aircraft drops fire retardant on the wildfire. (Photo Credit: Mike Blake/Reuters)

California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday had declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties in the north, which make up some of the state’s main wine-manufacturing regions, as well as in Butte, Lake, Mendocino and Nevada. He extended the state of emergency to Orange County in the south where another fire had erupted.

A destroyed home at a residential neighbourhood along Fountaingrove Parkway during the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa. (Photo Credit: Stephen Lam/Reuters)
A destroyed home at a residential neighbourhood along Fountaingrove Parkway during the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa. (Photo Credit: Stephen Lam/Reuters)
A firefighting helicopter drops water to help save a home during a wildfire. (Photo Credit: Mike Blake/Reuters)
A firefighting helicopter drops water to help save a home during a wildfire. (Photo Credit: Mike Blake/Reuters)
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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

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Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.