Published: Tue, October 10, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

CalFire chief: 1500 structures destroyed in California fires

CalFire chief: 1500 structures destroyed in California fires

A series of fires fanned by high winds erupted Sunday night and Monday morning in California's wine country, charring at least 20,000 acres and sending thousands of people fleeing homes, hotels and hospitals in the middle of the night. At least 1,500 structures have been destroyed, California's fire chief said.

In total, SFGate reports there are now 14 fires burning across eight counties in Northern California, including other fires that were sparked in Butte, Yuba, and Nevada counties.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday issued an emergency proclamation for Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties.

Evacuation orders in Napa County include the Wooden Valley area, Montecito area, Old Sonoma Road to Buhman Avenue, Dealy Lane, Henry Road, Coombsville Road and Wild Horse Valley Road.

The fires have closed 30 school districts in Sonoma County, as well as Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University.

Both Sutter and Kaiser evacuated patients from their Santa Rosa hospitals as the fire approached. And that was just the beginning.

The Sonoma County Emergency Operations Center was opened just after midnight Monday to respond to the numerous fires.

"I knew that she was unable to drive right now and she was by herself", explained Larsen. The fire is believed to have begun late Sunday night near Highway 128 in Napa County and progressed towards Santa Rosa city limits.

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Her neighbor later called her and said her house burned down. Swift gusts whipped flames into the area, leaving some homes in a heap of smoldering rubble.

CAL FIRE says the Lobo Fire is threatening between 7,000 and 8,000 homes. Shelters have been set up in the affected counties.

There are churches and community centers open to those families that are seeking refuge from the fire.

Downed trees were blocking parts of one rural road and fires were burning on both sides of Highway 12 as gusts reached up to 60 miles per hour (96.5 kph).

"In a situation like this, it is really important that we be the best we can be", he said.

Forecasters said winds were expected to ease by middday Monday. As they fled the flames one of them told him, "There's no need to repent".

Flames were also burning near the Domaine Carneros winery.

Ann Dubay, a spokeswoman for Sonoma County Emergency Operations Center, said the area where the largest fire started was relatively rural "but it went through many, many neighborhoods and we're sure that structures have burned, we don't know how many we don't have a count yet".

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