California's famed wine country engulfed by massive wildfires

Katrina Barker
October 10, 2017

The city of Santa Rosa warned residents in areas evacuated because of the large fire today not to return home until they are notified.

Ann Dubay, a spokeswoman for the Sonoma County Emergency Operations Center, said the area where the largest fire started was relatively rural but the flames "went through many, many neighborhoods", and authorities did not know how many structures were gone.

Terri Ruttledge, who lives on Adobe Canyon in Kenwood, just made it out before the fire burned her house.

The fire was reported at about 3 a.m. and closed Highway 37 in both directions, according to the CHP. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties as officials estimated the fire had wiped out "well in excess of" 50 structures.

The Sonoma County Emergency Operations Center was opened just after midnight Monday to respond to the numerous fires. Santa Rosa's historic round barn, at the gateway to Fountaingrove, was also burned, as was the Journey's End mobile home park to the north of Kaiser Permanente's hospital in Santa Rosa and multiple homes along Hopper Lane. One fire-related death has been reported in Mendocino County, but the speed of these blazes suggests there are more to come.

For long time Napa Valley residents the massive fire rekindled memories of the 1981 Atlas Peak wildfire.

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for the Bay area.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Jordan Root said dry and warm winds will continue to fan wildfires across the region before diminishing Monday evening.

Patients at a healing center in Sonoma County must be cleared as the blasts seethed on. Petaluma Fire Department said that three engines had been sent to Santa Rosa to assist with the blaze and extra personnel was called in to protect Petaluma. For those with such conditions, fires deal a harsh mix of smoke, dust and other particulates in the air.

Two fires - the Lobo Fire and the McCourtney Fire - are burning several hundred acres near Grass Valley and Nevada City have also prompted mandatory evacuations and school closures.

According to reports, the Hilton Sonoma Wine County on Round Barn Boulevard has been completely engulfed in flames as well as a nearby K-Mart. Gusts were predicted to be in the 30 miles per hour range in the area of the fires.

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said fires had broken out at Mark West Springs and Riebli roads in Santa Rosa, at Shiloh and Conde roads in Windsor and at Highway 116 and Fredericks Road in Sebastopol.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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