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‘We won’t watch our neighborhood burn’: Neighbor refused to evacuate Glass Fire to help save homes in Napa County

ANGWIN, Calif. (KGO) — The small town of Angwin in Napa County was evacuated Tuesday afternoon after fear the Glass Fire may move into the small community home to 3,800 people.

Unlike most people, Dave Babcock stayed behind.

“I’ve been going around here cleaning out the gutters on this side of the street… often when you see houses go up… it’s because of the gutters,” he said.

RELATED: Track wildfires across Bay Area, other parts of CA with this interactive map

Babcock considers himself an ordinary guy, but to his neighbors he’s a hero.

“I was up most of the night watering down the houses and watching where it was going,” he said.

Babcock and his neighbor have been taking turns staying up to keep an eye on six homes along their street.

“We won’t watch our neighborhood burn.”

RELATED: Glass Fire devastation will be ‘new beginning’ for famed Meadowood Resort, manager says

“This is brave what you’re doing,” ABC7 News reporter Stephanie Sierra said. “Do you get scared?”

“No I’m a firm believer in God,” he replied. “I hope we get through this.”

Evacuee William Kenner is also relying on his faith – even though he already lost everything.

“12 vehicles, two cabins, it’s been in my family for 105 years. Yep, all gone,” said Kenner.

Now, he’s committed to helping others not go through the same pain.

“I’m trying to protect my friends place, it burned all the way around there last month,” he said. “We’re just expecting it to come over the hill… we’re doing the best we can.”

Get the latest updates and videos on the Glass Incident here.

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Glass Fire forces all of Calistoga to evacuate as North Bay homes and wineries burn

SANTA ROSA — A fast-moving wildfire that tore across Napa and Sonoma counties in the early hours of Monday morning destroyed homes on the eastern edge of this city and forced at least 70,000 North Bay residents to flee, many in hasty late-night evacuations.



a tree in front of a sunset: CALISTOGA, CA - SEPT. 28: The Glass Fire burns behind the Kelly Fleming Wines in Calistoga, Calif., on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. Calistoga is under mandatory evacuation tonight. The evacuation order is in effect for everyone south of Lincoln Avenue. Evacuees are being urged to avoid using southbound Highway 29 to Napa, Petrified Forest Road and the Silverado Trail. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)


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CALISTOGA, CA – SEPT. 28: The Glass Fire burns behind the Kelly Fleming Wines in Calistoga, Calif., on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. Calistoga is under mandatory evacuation tonight. The evacuation order is in effect for everyone south of Lincoln Avenue. Evacuees are being urged to avoid using southbound Highway 29 to Napa, Petrified Forest Road and the Silverado Trail. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

But there was better news by Monday evening, when firefighters that had been struggling at the start of the day to defend homes and neighborhoods were cautiously optimistic that weather conditions had turned in their favor, as the ferocious dry winds that drove the fire’s explosive growth appeared to have died down.

“We don’t have those critical burning conditions that we were experiencing those last two nights,” Cal Fire Division Chief Ben Nicholls said at a briefing late Monday. Fire crews, he said, “are feeling much more confident tonight when we were last night.”

The Glass Fire, the largest in the Bay Area and one of 27 blazes currently burning around California, more than tripled in size Monday to cover 36,236 acres as of around 5 p.m., with zero containment, according to Cal Fire. The entire city of Calistoga was ordered to evacuate Monday evening.

The blaze is made up of three fires that merged late Sunday and raced across the landscape. Nicholls said strong winds hurled embers over the Napa River and nearby vineyards, sparking spot fires on both sides of the Napa Valley

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