evacuations

Three dead as multiple wildfires in California burn homes, prompt evacuations

Multiple blazes were burning out of control in Northern California on Monday, killing three people, destroying an untold number of homes and prompting thousands to evacuate in a state already battered by wildfires in recent months.

Eddy Whitmore evacuates from his Santa Rosa, Calif., home as the Shady Fire approaches on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020.Noah Berger / AP

In Shasta County, Sheriff Eric Magrini said that three people died after the Zogg Fire exploded in size, jumping from a few hundred acres Sunday afternoon to 15,000 less than 24 hours later.

Magrini did not provide additional details about the victims, saying that their next of kin still need to be notified. But he pleaded with residents to heed evacuation orders.

“This is fast-moving,” he said. “When you hear that order, evacuate immediately.”

According to the California Department of Fire and Forest Protection, or Cal Fire, the blaze, which ignited southwest of the city of Redding, had no containment on Monday afternoon.

Five hundred structures were threatened by the blaze, a CalFire spokesman said earlier. He added that reports of damaged and destroyed buildings have not been confirmed by the department.

North of the San Francisco Bay Area, in Napa and Sonoma counties, the Glass Fire rapidly scorched more than 36,000 acres and is zero percent contained, according to Cal Fire Division Chief Ben Nichols. It started early Sunday in Napa Valley and roared west overnight, merging with two other fires and burning through vineyards and buildings, fire officials said.

At least 8,500 structures are threatened by it, according to NBC Bay Area. No injuries or deaths have been confirmed, Nichols said, though Nichols said he’d heard reports of burned residents and injured firefighters.

State Sen. Bill Dodd, who represents the area, estimated that hundreds of homes, wineries and other

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Wine Country fires burn homes, force evacuations from Santa Rosa to Napa Valley

The Wine Country awoke in flames Monday as windblown wildfires closed in on the Napa Valley from the east and west and swept into Santa Rosa, forcing thousands of North Bay residents to flee their homes in an ominous flashback to the catastrophic infernos three years ago.

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More fires in California destroy homes, prompt evacuations | National News

Evacuations were also ordered in Shasta County as the Zogg Fire spread over 23 square miles (59 square kilometers). Residences are widely scattered in the forested area in the far northern state. The region was torched just two years ago by the deadly Carr Fire — infamously remembered for producing a huge tornado-like fire whirl.

The causes of the new fires were under investigation.

Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said 2020 has been challenging.

“The silver lining to it is that people who live in California become more prepared, they’re more aware, they know these events take place and we’re seeing a citizenry that does get it and is working hard to be prepared,” he said.

Numerous studies in recent years have linked bigger wildfires in America to global warming from the burning of coal, oil and gas. Scientists say climate change has made California much drier, meaning trees and other plants are more flammable.

The latest fires erupted as a giant ridge of high pressure settled over the West, producing powerful gusts blowing from the interior toward the coast while slashing humidity levels and raising temperatures.

So far this year, more than 8,100 California wildfires have killed 26 people, scorched 5,780 square miles (14,970 square kilometers), and destroyed more than 7,000 buildings.

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Multiple wildfires in California burn homes, prompt evacuations

Multiple blazes were burning out of control in California’s wine country on Monday, prompting thousands to evacuate and scorching an untold number of homes and businesses in a state already battered by wildfires in recent months.

Image: Eddy Whitmore evacuates from his Santa Rosa, Calif., home as the Shady Fire approaches (Noah Berger / AP)
Image: Eddy Whitmore evacuates from his Santa Rosa, Calif., home as the Shady Fire approaches (Noah Berger / AP)

In Napa and Sonoma counties, the Glass Fire rapidly scorched 11,000 acres and is zero percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire. It started early Sunday in Napa Valley and roared west overnight, merging with two other fires and burning through vineyards and buildings, fire officials said.

At least 2,000 structures are currently threatened by it, according to NBC Bay Area. No injuries or deaths have been reported.

State Sen. Bill Dodd, who represents the area, estimated that hundreds of homes, wineries and other businesses were destroyed after the blaze exploded on Sunday night amid powerful winds and high temperatures.

“This was pretty devastating,” Dodd told NBC News after touring areas hit hard by the fire. “Just literally hundreds and hundreds of homes devastated with nothing standing.”

Among the well-known businesses that Dodd said burned were Calistoga Ranch, a luxury resort, and parts of Meadowood, a resort with a Michelin-starred restaurant. Also lost in the fire was the Château Boswell Winery in St. Helena, a family-owned winery founded in 1979.

The burned remains of Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley, Calif., on Sept. 28, 2020. (State Sen. Bill Dodd)
The burned remains of Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley, Calif., on Sept. 28, 2020. (State Sen. Bill Dodd)

“It was like a nuclear bomb went off,” Dodd said of Calistoga Ranch. “You couldn’t see anything green anywhere. It was just utter devastation.”

The blaze also made a run toward Santa Rosa, a city of nearly 175,000 in Sonoma County that lost hundreds of homes three years ago

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‘Horrifying’ Glass Fire and Shady Fire burn homes, force evacuations





By Peter Fimrite, Megan Cassidy and Sarah Ravani



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