Tag Archives: Sonoma County fire

Sonoma County Fire: 10,000 Acres Burn

Sonoma County Fire: 10,000 Acres Burn

The blaze was uncontained on Thursday morning, but there were no reports of injuries.

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A wildfire in Sonoma County, Calif., has actually required hundreds of citizens to leave. Strong winds are driving the fire, which has actually burned at least 10,00 0 acres. Credit Credit … Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse– Getty Images

A wildfire driven by strong winds has torn through 10,00 0 acres in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, prompting the county constable’s workplace to release evacuation orders for numerous residents.

The blaze, called the Kincade Fire, began in a mountainous location at about 9: 30 p.m. on Wednesday and was uncontained, a Cal Fire spokeswoman stated early Thursday. The cause is under investigation. As of Thursday morning, a minimum of two structures had actually been harmed by the fire, however there were no reports of injuries. Videos from residents and regional press reporters revealed flames climbing the sides of houses and sending out smoke into roadways.

The Sonoma County Constable’s Workplace bought an obligatory evacuation for all of Geyserville, a small town of about 1,00 0 individuals surrounded by vineyards in the northern part of the county. The River Rock Casino, a 24- hour betting center in Geyserville, said all of its guests and workers had left. In evacuation locations, sheriff’s deputies were utilizing sirens and knocking on doors, telling locals to leave their homes, Sgt. Juan Valencia said.

Locals of Healdsburg, a city of 12,00 0 5 miles south of Geyserville, were under an evacuation warning and had actually started to drip in to a community center that had been transformed into an evacuation center, said Rhea Borja, a spokesperson for the city.

” All of it depends upon the fire’s trajectory, but we are prepped for a lot more people,” Ms. Borja said, adding that the evacuation center had space for horses and other livestock in its parking area.

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Credit … Noah Berger/Associated Press

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Credit … Noah Berger/Associated Press

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Credit … Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Credit … Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse– Getty Images

The Sonoma Valley becomes part of California’s White wine Country, and the fire was threatening wineries as it jumped a highway and continued moving west on Thursday morning. Staff members at the deLorimier Winery in Geyserville were enthusiastic that it would get away damage, as it performed in 2017, when the location was under a compulsory evacuation for several days due to the fact that of wildfires.

” We’re feeling hopeful that it’s blowing the other direction,” stated Katie Ambrosi, the marketing director for Wilson Craftsmen Wineries, which owns deLorimier. Many of the winery’s grapes have currently been harvested, she said.

Some vineyard owners are nervous about the lasting effects that wildfires could have on their services even if they get away damage. Ms. Ambrosi stated that because the 2017 fires, less tourists have been checking out deLorimier. “It’s tough for people who are not in the area to understand that the entire location isn’t on fire,” she said.

Late on Thursday early morning, Joe Stewart, a fire captain for the Geyserville Fire Defense District, stated Geyserville had not sustained any damage which more firemens had actually gotten here to keep the blaze far from the town. He hoped prospective tourists would not remain away.

” It’ll be a little brown on the hillsides, and everything will be back to normal in White wine Nation.”

Still, more than 300 firemens from about half a dozen companies were working to stop the blaze from spreading out even more. It was a relief to Geyserville firefighters when more help arrived from out of town as the local crews were rushing to put out area fires, likely fired up by windblown embers.

” We still have a long battle ahead of us,” Captain Stewart said. “It’s what they say is the brand-new standard in California, and actually the whole West, with disastrous wildfires.”

Minerva Velasco, a manager at the Singletree Cafe in Healdsburg, said clients did not appear bothered by the neighboring fire, even as a burning smell filled the air outside.

” It’s excusable, but I think later it’s coming, because it’s still windy,” Ms. Velasco said.

The heats and strong winds prompted preventive power outages this week in parts of Northern California, including a shut-off to about 28,00 0 clients in Sonoma County beginning at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the energy Pacific Gas and Electric.

This round of shut-offs comes not long after the company got an earful from state regulators and criticism from the guv over its sweeping pre-emptive blackouts earlier this month. In overall, about 179,00 0 clients in 17 counties lacked power on Thursday as part of the planned shut-off, the business said.

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Credit … Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse– Getty Images

In Southern California, another fire was raving in San Bernardino County on Thursday morning, burning over 75 acres and requiring the citizens of about 80 homes to leave. Some houses in the city of San Bernardino were under a voluntary evacuation order. The vegetation fire, called the Old Water Fire, might grow bigger and is being sustained by Santa Ana winds blowing up to 50 miles per hour, the authorities said.

The Saddleridge Fire, which required evacuations of more than 100,00 0 individuals this month simply as their power returned on, was still burning in Los Angeles County on Thursday, however was 97 percent contained.

Adeel Hassan contributed reporting.

Correction:

An earlier version of this post misidentified the location of Sonoma County. It is north of San Francisco, not east of Sacramento.

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs reports on national news. He is from upstate New york city and previously reported in Baltimore, Albany, and Isla Vista, Calif. @ nickatnews

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The Kincade Fire Explodes in Wine Country Where a Blackout Was Scheduled

The Kincade Fire Explodes in Wine Country Where a Blackout Was Scheduled

On Wednesday night, the Kincade Fire exploded in Sonoma County. The blaze has burned some 10,000 acres and pushed small towns in the fire’s path to evacuate as it burns largely uncontrolled.

The fire comes as California utility PG&E began a second round of blackouts this month on Wednesday to prevent wildfires from sparking. While it’s unclear what the caused the Kincade Fire, its ignition underscores how even the power shutoffs aren’t enough to stop fires from igniting.

The Kincade Fire ballooned by 5,000 acres in the three hours after its ignition. That’s equivalent to a football field being lost every three seconds, and it’s kept growing rapidly overnight and into the morning hours. The event has prompted evacuations in Geyserville, a small town in Wine Country. Some 1,700 residents are under an evacuation order. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office has been issuing evacuation updates on Twitter in Spanish, too, to ensure Latinx residents aren’t left behind in the disaster.

High winds helped push the fire quickly through the brush. The cause remains unknown at the moment, but San Francisco Chronicle reporter Matthias Gafni wrote on Twitter that there were “possible power lines down in the area,” according to the initial call the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection made for response units. While the PG&E blackout was set to hit the county by 3 p.m. local time Wednesday, it’s unclear if power was out in the entire county by the time the fire started. Earther has reached out to PG&E for comment.

The fire is already burning 10,000 acres.
Photo: Getty

Meanwhile, as the Kincade Fire continues to burn, much of the state remains on high alert for more wildfires. That means there’s potential for more. That’s why more utilities are resorting to blackouts. PG&E has shut off power to 17 counties as weather conditions have increased the risk for extreme fire. Southern California Edison—the electric utility that serves the greater Los Angeles area—announced Thursday morning it was cutting off power to more than 15,000 customers in five counties. It’s considering shutting off power to another 286,000 customers. San Diego Gas and Electric is also considering planned blackouts for more than 41,000 customers.

While it’s better to be safe than sorry, these companies could’ve also been proactive—instead of reactive—by improving infrastructure so its less susceptible to sparking fires. That’s especially true for PG&E, which filed for bankruptcy this year in wake of the deadly Camp Fire it helped spark.

Public officials aren’t happy about the blackouts, and they’re not going to sit back and let these utilities place their burden onto communities that have nothing to do with this mess. Governor Gavin Newsom wants PG&E to pay affected customers for their troubles, though the company has said it won’t. Climate change is here, so that means wildfire season is growing longer and more extreme. PG&E has said the blackouts could be a policy it resorts to for the next decade while it plays catch-up to make its infrastructure less fire prone. But these utilities can’t keep customers in the dark every time there’s a risk, can they?

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Northern California fire explodes overnight

Northern California fire explodes overnight
The Kincade Fire burns near Geyserville, Calif., on Oct. 24.
The Kincade Fire burns near Geyserville, Calif., on Oct. 24.

Image: Noah Berger / AP / Shutterstock

By Mark Kaufman

All it takes is a spark.

California’s notoriously high, dry, and hot fall winds are sweeping through both northern and southern parts of the state. Right on cue, the Kincade Fire exploded in California’s wine country, Sonoma County, Wednesday night. Some 9 hours later, the blaze had burned 10,000 acres, prompting nighttime evacuations. It has zero containment, according to Cal Fire, the state’s fire protection agency.

Of particular interest is that the state’s largest utility, PG&E, said they had intentionally (and controversially) cut off power to this region of Sonoma County earlier on Wednesday, to avoid the possibility of wind-damaged electrical towers sparking flames. The cause of this new and rapidly spreading fire is still unknown.

In a wind-whipped video posted to Facebook, Geyserville Fire Captain Joe Stewart chronicled the flames lapping on hills outside of Geyserville, a community PG&E had scheduled for power blackouts earlier that day. 

“We have fires burning at extreme or dangerous rates of spread,” Stewart said loudly into the wind. 

These extreme autumn winds, gusting well over 50 mph over both Northern and Southern California, aren’t atypical. And that’s a significant problem for Californians both now and in the future. Intentional blackouts are not a viable long-term solution to avoid massive blazes, public policy experts and scientists stress.

“We’re getting these shutoffs during run-of-the-mill events which are not rare,” Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, told Mashable on Wednesday before the Kincade Fire began. 

Already this fall, millions of Californians have lost power, shutting down universities and traffic lights, and sending people scurrying for fuel-powered generators. 

“We’re realizing how disruptive these shutoffs are,” Swain added.

What’s more, though power lines can instigate horrific blazes, wind-damaged power lines have conclusively lit only four out of the 20 largest wildfires in state history. Other human causes (like the use of a hammer or car fires) and lightning strikes stoked 14 of the Golden State’s worst infernos. 

California’s modern fire woes are a nexus of ingredients: notably, people living (in housing they can afford) in wildfire country, climate-enhanced fires, mismanaged forests, and aging electrical infrastructure

“It’s kind of a mess right now,” said Swain.

While a warming climate doesn’t cause fires — like sparks from an electrical tower might — hotter climes set the stage for vegetation that is increasingly parched and susceptible to spreading flames. Add California’s powerful fall winds, and you’ve got a dangerous, at times catastrophic, combination. 

Since 1972, the amount of land burned in California has increased fivefold, and nine of the Golden State’s 10 largest fires on record have occurred since 2002, during a time the planet has continually warmed.

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