Wildfire updates: Evacuations, damage in Northern California

Wildfires whipped by gusting winds forced evacuations for thousands of residents and warnings for others to be prepared to flee throughout Sunday night and early Monday in Napa, Sonoma, Butte and Shasta counties as firefighters battled several new blazes.

Neighborhoods in northeast Santa Rosa were ordered evacuated just before midnight as the Glass, Shady and Boysen fires continued to burn and spark new fires, and evacuation orders were expanded throughout Monday’s early morning hours both inside and outside of Santa Rosa city limits.

In Napa County, some structures burned overnight, including the Chateau Boswell winery and the Glass Mountain Inn, and Cal Fire was preparing for continued high winds through 9 p.m. Monday.

In Butte County, voluntary evacuations warnings remain in effect Monday morning in the towns of Paradise and Magalia, both of which were devastated by the Camp Fire two years ago, due to newly wind-whipped fires on the north flank of the North Complex fire near Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon.

That blaze already sprinted at a furious pace earlier this month, during an earlier wind event, killing 15 people in communities just north of Lake Oroville. The large complex first ignited in mid-August by lightning.

And in Shasta County, the Zogg Fire that sparked Sunday afternoon has scorched at least 15,000 acres southwest of Redding, threatening rural communities of several hundred people, according to Cal Fire. The Zogg Fire, as of Monday morning, was not threatening the city of Redding, officials said.

Glass Fire: Growing list of evacuations for Santa Rosa, Calistoga

A group of wildfires in the Napa-Sonoma area collectively called the Glass Fire quadrupled in reported size between Sunday evening and Monday morning, from 2,500 acres to 11,000 acres, according to Cal Fire. It is now threatening more than 8,500 structures, most of them homes, and is uncontained.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office issued another round of urgent evacuation orders just before 7:45 a.m. for three main areas: all of Trione-Annadel State Park; the zone just south of the state park and north of Bennett Valley Road, located southeast of Santa Rosa city limits; and the region bound by Petrified Forest Road and Porter Creek Road, west of the Napa-Sonoma county line.

Evacuation orders within the city of Santa Rosa included the neighborhoods of Skyhawk, Melita, Oakmont, Pythian and Stonebridge.

Cal Fire at 6 a.m. Monday said mandatory evacuations had been ordered in the Napa County city of Calistoga for everyone southeast of Lincoln Avenue, which makes up about one-third the city of roughly 5,000 people. The order includes all of the Chateau Calistoga mobile home park.

Evacuees were told to use either Highway 29 north to Lake County or Highway 128 to Geyserville, but not southbound Highway 29 due to imminent fire danger in that area.

To the west of the Glass and Boysen fires, the eastern fringes of Santa Rosa were immediately threatened by the Shady Fire, which began Sunday evening.

“There have been numerous evacuations, that’s been going on through the night,” Cal Fire spokesman Tyree Zander said early Monday. “They have a rapid rate of spread, a dangerous rate of spread.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office issued evacuation orders at 2:08 a.m. Monday for neighborhoods along Highway 12 and southwest of the Napa and Sonoma county line, and urged residents to flee toward Sonoma due to “significant threat to life and property.”

“Highway 12 westbound is gridlocked,” the sheriff’s office said. “Check with your neighbors to ensure they know about this order if you have time.

“First responders are going door to door to assist people.”

Cal Fire said as of Monday morning that 1,070 firefighters are assigned to the Glass Fire. No injuries have been reported, and no estimates regarding destruction are yet available.

Elizabeth Bailey didn’t sleep all night as she and others at her treatment center watched the orange glow over the hillsides outside Calistoga.

At 4 a.m., they decided it was time to go.

”The flames were creeping over the hill on all sides,” she said. “It was just this orange glow… Then we went around the back of the property and there was another one, and you could see flames.”

Her group spent three and a half hours stuck in traffic to get to Marin County, where they’re staying for the time being.

Bailey is a Shasta County resident who lives outside Anderson. She’s worried about her family and her neighbors, threatened by the Zogg Fire, which is threatening areas burned by the devastating Carr Fire in 2018.

Sonoma sheriff’s officials issued a new evacuation order at 4:34 a.m. Monday because of “multiple fires on Los Alamos Road and St. Helena Road,” and said residents north of St. Helena Road, east of Calistoga Road and Petrified Forest Road and southwest of the Napa/Sonoma county line should leave immediately.

Patrice Viera, innkeeper at the Inn St. Helena in the center of that Napa Valley tourist town, evacuated late Sunday night when the heat and smoke from three nearby fires became intolerable.

“It was impossible to breathe,” she said Monday morning from Berkeley.

St. Helena police say the town was not damaged Sunday, even though fires whipped through that area on their way to Santa Rosa.

In Napa County, the Office of Emergency Services issued an evacuation order at 4:33 a.m. Monday for the area north of Bothe State Park to Diamond Mountain Road, and said Highway 29 was closed between Lincoln Avenue and Deer Park Road.

One resident wrote on the Sonoma sheriff’s page that they already had to contend with potential looters during the evacuation.

At 9:50 p.m. Sunday, the Napa County Sheriff’s Office issued evacuation orders for unincorporated areas from the 2900 block of White Sulpher Springs Road, which is at the city limits of St. Helena, to the dead end and north to Spring Mountain Road. Evacuation warnings were also issued within St. Helena’s city limits, from Elmhurst Avenue to Madrona Avenue west of Highway 29 to the city limits. Updates from the Napa County Sheriff’s Office are available on its Facebook page.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered from 1650 South Whitehall Lane north to White Sulpher Springs Road west to the county line. Evacuations were also ordered by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office from St. Helena Road to Highway 12. Updates from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office are available on its Facebook page.

Santa Rosa officials issued evacuation orders for Calistoga North, Calistoga South / Skyhawk, Melita, Oakmont, Pythian and Stonebridge. A temporary evacuation point has been set up in Santa Rosa at A Place To Play, 2375 W. 3rd St. Updates to Santa Rosa’s evacuations are available on the city’s website.

Real-time map of wind gusts in Sonoma and Napa counties

Source: Windy.com

North Complex: More Butte County evacuations for West Zone

In addition to the Wine Country fires, evacuations were being ordered in portions of Butte County for the North Complex Fire’s West Zone, which earlier this month largely destroyed the community of Berry Creek.

Evacuations were ordered for Pulga, Concow, Big Bend and Yankee Hill, where wind speeds remained high Monday morning.

Cal Fire officials reported they had sent more forces to the north side of that blaze, near Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon, Monday to attempt to contain a flare-up that has prompted an evacuation warning in the nearby towns of Paradise and Magalia, both hard hit two years ago in the Camp Fire.

“There are miles of (bull)dozer lines already in place in that area from during and after the Camp Fire,” Cal Fire spokesman Rick Carhart said on Monday.

The North Complex Fire has burned 305,188 acres and is 78% contained, but winds throughout Northern California helped spark new blazes.

Butte County supervisor Bill Connelly said that as far as he knows, the fire hasn’t burned into any of the small towns under evacuation around the border between Butte and Yuba counties, but it’s imperative for local residents to heed the evacuation order.

”Because it’s so hard to get people out and many of them don’t have cell coverage,” he said. “It’s mandatory, and they should take it seriously. Concow and Yankee Hill should take it very seriously … we’re really worried about Forbestown.”

Zogg Fire chews through thousands of acres in Shasta

A couple of hours north of the North Bay and Butte County wildfires, another severe incident ignited and grew furiously Sunday in Shasta County.

The Zogg Fire that erupted in Igo southwest of Redding has now consumed 15,000 acres, Cal Fire said Monday morning, after the fire grew from 50 to 7,000 acres in a matter of hours Sunday evening.

The blaze has forced evacuations for the areas immediately surrounding the fire. It remains uncontained.

The Redding Police Department tweeted early Monday that the Zogg Fire “is not an immediate threat to Redding.” Gusty winds have blown the fire away from the city, which in 2018 had more than one-third of its residents evacuated due to the deadly Carr Fire.

In an image take from a video camera operated by PG&E and distributed by the Alert Wildfire network, the Zogg Fire is seen burning in Shasta County near Igo, Calif., on Sept. 27, 2020. The fire, which started around 3:30 p.m. had burned 7,000 acres by 7:30 p.m., Cal Fire official said. Alert Wildfire/Nevada Seismological Laboratory

Where are evacuations ordered for Glass Fire, other California wildfires?

Mandatory evacuation orders for the Glass Fire, along with warnings for residents to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice, continue to pour in from local emergency authorities throughout portions of Napa and Sonoma counties, including parts of the cities of Santa Rosa, St. Helena and Calistoga.

Detailed and up-to-date evacuation information is available through the emergency website Nixle, where the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, Napa County Office of Emergency Services, the city of Calistoga and the Santa Rosa Police Department are all providing frequent updates.

For the North Complex zone in Butte County, the evacuation situation remained mostly unchanged between Sunday evening and Monday morning: There are mandatory orders in place for the areas of Pulga, Concow, Big Bend and Yankee Hill; and there are warnings in place for Stirling City, Magalia and the entire town of Paradise.

At the Zogg Fire, Shasta County authorities have issued mandatory evacuation orders for the area south of South Fork Road and Zogg Mine Road, south along Gas Point corridor including all residents along Gas Point Road to Foster Drive and Platina Road west to the Tehama County line.

‘Horrifying’: Sunday night fire evacuations stir up memories

The flurry of late-night and early-Monday morning evacuations, including streams of orders in Sonoma and Napa counties plus a warning encompassing the entire Butte County town of Paradise, bring back haunting memories for those who lived through raging wildfires that have struck Northern California in the past three years.

“It really is horrifying to see this happening … again,” UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain said on social media. “Winds tonight are not expected to be as extreme as during Oct. 2017 North Bay (Tubbs) firestorm, but this does not look good. Really does appear this could make it to eastern Santa Rosa by morning.”

In another tweet, Swain suggested that evacuations were being outstripped by the speed of the fire, part of which is burning in an area that hasn’t seen a major fire in almost a century and is near where the 2017 Tubbs Fire decimated areas of Sonoma and Napa counties. “If you are on eastern side of Santa Rosa, I’d be prepared to leave in a matter of hours,” Swain added.

“This is extremely hard to say, but within past hour Butte County and Sonoma County officials have both issued nighttime emergency evacuation orders for some of the same areas previous burned by the Tubbs Fire in 2017 and Camp Fire in 2018. Please be vigilant tonight,” he added.

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Sam Stanton has worked for The Bee since 1991 and has covered a variety of issues, including politics, criminal justice and breaking news.

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