October 9, 2017

Wildfires Raging in Northern California Wine Country

Utter devastation.  Numerous wildfires are raging in or near Northern California's Wine County, several starting around 10 PM last night.  The wildfires cover Napa, Sonoma, and Yuba counties, which lie north of Contra Costa County where I live. There are currently 14 different wildfires burning; all started since last night.  No cause has been determined, but three fires are clearly suspicious, having started at the same time (around 10 PM) in different location in the Sonoma and Napa Valleys.

Sobering Facts

In only 12 hours, at least 1500 structures have burned, approximately 50,000 acres have burned, 22,000 or so people are under mandatory evacuation orders, and there is zero containment. 

In only 12 hours, these new wildfires - dubbed fire storms - are already considered some of worst in California's history.  And that classification with zero containment.

The fires spread rapidly in the area's rugged terrain covered with trees and heavy vegetation.   Another devastating factor was the presence of strong seasonal Diablo Winds, blowing with gusts of 50 mph or more.  It was very winding at my Pleasant Hill, California home last night; much less so today.  The greater San Francisco Bay area, including Pleasant Hill, is covered in a blanket of smoke from the wildfires to the north.

Currently, firefighters are concentration on saving lives rather than fighting the fire.  Many people are reported missing, one confirmed death.  More reinforcements from throughout the state are expecting to arrive shortly.  Area residents have helped fight the fire, including helping firefighters with hoses, using buckets of water to put out hot spots, and using private water tankers to fight fires and hot spots.

Pretty amazing what good people do in times of emergency.  Working together.

Photo credit:  sfgate.com

Photo credit:  eastbaytimes.com

Get updates on these fires at the Cal Fire Incident Information page. Here are a few of my past posts about fire safety and insurance-related issues:

Stay safe, Everyone.

Mary Rae Fouts

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