Emergency declared after wildfire ravages Sonoma, Napa
Sheetal Sukhija - Tuesday 10th October, 2017
Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency
Multiple fires ravaged Sonoma and Napa counties on Monday
The wildfire burnt tens of thousands of acres of land in Sonoma and Napa counties
CALIFORNIA, U.S. - Tens of thousands of acres of land in Sonoma and Napa counties were burned down as massive wildfires ravaged the region, forcing mass evacuations.
Late on Monday, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency and authorized the mobilization of the California National Guard.
On Monday morning, a raging fire had Santa Rosa under siege, with a large swath of the city north of downtown under evacuation order.
The fire jumped the 101 Freeway, forcing hospitals to be evacuated and burning homes and businesses.
Napa County Supervisor Diane Dillon said during a televised press conference that as of 6.40 am, over 35,000 acres of land was burnt in the Tubbs fire near Santa Rosa.
Officials added that at Atlas Peak, the other large fire in Napa County, between 8,000 and 12,000 acres had been destroyed.
Schools throughout the Napa and Sonoma valleys remained closed on Monday, as cellphone service were affected in Napa County.
Officials have said that residents and businesses were experiencing power outages and trees have been knocked down by the wind in the county.
Addressing the same press conference, Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann said that over 50 structures, including homes and barns, have burned in the Atlas peak fire alone.
He added, “The fire has burned all the way through the Silverado Country Club.”
Early this morning, residents rushed out of their homes as the flames approached
A Santa Rosa resident, Ron Dodds were quoted in a report in KTVU as saying, "People are running red lights, there is chaos ensuing. It's a scary time. It looks like Armageddon."
Meanwhile, officials said that Fountaingrove appeared to be particularly hard hit, with photos posted online showing numerous homes on fire.
Houses in the community of Kenwood and at a mobile home park off the 101 Freeway were also destroyed.
Authorities had set up many evacuation centers, however, some were filled to capacity due to a large number of people fleeing.
Bay Area, San Francisco, and even San Jose were affected by the drifting smoke.
Many people have been rushed to the hospitals for injuries, but no deaths have been reported yet in Napa County.
So far, there are no estimates of how many people may be injured.
Spokesman Will Powers said that Cal Fire is keeping track of three other fires in Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties.
Authorities confirmed that the Adobe fire in Sonoma County is affecting Glen Ellen and Kenwood; the Partrick fire is hitting Napa, and the Sulphur Fire in Lake County is threatening Clearlake and has burned about 1,800 acres, including structures.
He added that taking all the fires into account, more than 1,000 people have been evacuated so far.
Meanwhile, Napa County spokeswoman Kristi Jourdan added, “The smell of smoke is everywhere throughout the county. As the sun comes up we can’t really see it.”
In Santa Rosa, Kaiser Permanente Hospital and Sutter Hospital were evacuated.
And Kaiser spokeswoman Jenny Mack said, “We have safely evacuated the Santa Rosa medical center due to fires burning in the area. Many patients were transported to Kaiser Permanente in San Rafael and other local hospitals. All scheduled appointments and surgeries have been canceled for the day in Santa Rosa and the Napa Medical Offices.”
Rattigan added that structures have burned, however, that there is no estimate of how far the fires have spread and how many structures have burned.
The cause of the fires are still under investigation.
Rattigan added, “It’s been incredibly windy here,” winds are consistently “around 15 miles per hour and we have gusts up to 22 miles per hour, and we’re expecting that to continue throughout the day.”
She added that over 300 firefighters are battling the blazes in Napa County currently.
There are three evacuation centers for Napa County residents, however, one of them in Crosswalk Community Church is full.
Napa Valley visitor Chris Thomas has said, “When I started loading stuff into the car it was a hell-storm of smoke and ash. There were 30- to 40-mph winds. I couldn’t even breathe. It went from being an annoying evacuation to something really scary.”
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