10 Dead, 1000s Displaced After Wildfires Engulf Napa, Sonoma And 6 Other California Counties

Update (8 pm ET): California state fire authorities are reporting that 10 people have been confirmed dead because of the wildfires that are raging in eight Northern California counties. The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office reported seven fire-related deaths late Monday. In addition, two died because of the Atlas fire in Napa County and one in Mendocino County, according to a CalFire spokesperson. The fires, which were enabled by dry conditions and a powerful, dry wind blowing west from the desert, spread quickly and reportedly left many area residents scrambling to flee their path.

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Wine country is burning.

Thousands of residents of Napa Valley, Sonoma and six other counties have been forced from their homes – and thousands more are preparing to flee – as 14 wildfires tear through Northern California, resisting fire fighters’ efforts to contain them.

California’s fire chief says at least 1,500 homes and commercial buildings have been destroyed – and officials said that estimate was probably conservative. While no deaths have been confirmed, fire officials say numerous residents have been injured and a number of people are also missing. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott say an estimated 20,000 people have been evacuated.

Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Sonoma, Napa and Yuba counties, revealing that FEMA had approved emergency grants to help the state combat the fires. More than 20,000 people have been forced to evacuate, state officials said.

As the LA Times reported, fire-friendly weather conditions converged prior to the outbreak of fires, which originated primarily in Sonoma and Napa.

The Santa Ana winds - strong, extremely dry down-slope winds that occur mainly in the fall and originate inland in desert regions – were one factor in helping the fires spread. Warm temperatures also create the dry conditions that have helped the blazes spread like…well…wildfire.

“This is really serious, it’s moving fast. The heat, the lack of humidity and the winds are all driving a very dangerous situation and making it worse,” the governor said at a morning press conference. “It’s not under control by any means. But we’re on it in the best way we know how.”

In Santa Rosa, the capital of Sonoma county, whole neighborhoods have been evacuated and 200 patients have been moved from area hospitals, the Associated Press reported.

Smoke plumes from the fires showed up on the NWS radar…

…and were also detected by satellite imaging…

Video taken by journalists shows farms, homes and vineyards engulfed in flames.

Smoke wafted down to the Bay Area, but the Marin County Fire Department confirmed that there were no fires in that part of the state.

Further south in Anaheim Hills, a 25-acre brush fire broke out Monday, forcing some residents to evacuate, NBC reported.

Firefighters said they were concerned about embers drifting on strong winds into nearby neighborhoods. Thick smoke billowed over the freeways and the communities of Yorba Linda and Anaheim Hills.

October is historically one of the most dangerous months of the year when it comes to wildfires in California. Four of the state's five most-destructive fire occurred in October, including the 1991 Oakland Hill firestorms that resulted in 25 fatalities and burned 2,900 buildings.

The Lake and Mendocino County Sheriffs ordered evacuations. The sheriff in Butte County said there were two fires in the area and ordered mandatory evacuations in several neighborhoods.

Belia Ramos, the chairwoman of the Napa County board of supervisors, said the county was trying to contain three main fires, one of which is threatening more than 10,00 acres in Northern Napa County, another that is threatening between 8,000 to 12,000 acres, and a third that has affected some 2,00 acres.

The fires were moving swiftly and in unpredictable paths through densely populated areas.

California struggled with wildfires during the summer, including a blaze late last month that forced 1,000 people in Southern California to evacuate.

Both AT&T and Verizon confirmed that their customers may be currently experiencing outages.

"A power and connectivity issue is causing a service interruption in parts of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties," Verizon Wireless Pacific market public relations manager Heidi Flato said.


"Our engineers are aware of this issue and are working with our vendor partners to resolve this issue quickly."

PG&E is also reporting power outages, mostly in the Sonoma area, due to the fire, according to SFGate.


Francis Marx Mon, 10/09/2017 - 15:14 Permalink

These are the same people who said the Texas hurricane was because of Trump voters. I guess since they claimed that as curse... a back-fire on them in the real sense of the word.

Mr. Universe J S Bach Mon, 10/09/2017 - 19:03 Permalink

Napa was one of the last bastions of conservative California. I'm safe 30 miles away as the fire would have to cross the bay, but it is smoky around here. I feel sorry for those of you who wish ill on any one during a time like this. One of the most beautiful valleys and it's people are being decimated. Not sure but it's possible most of the harvest is in due to an early year.

In reply to by J S Bach

J S Bach Mr. Universe Mon, 10/09/2017 - 21:00 Permalink

Sorry, Mr. Universe... not offense intended.  But, you must understand that a nation or state's leadership is what forms most peoples' opinions as to the inhabitants of their realms.  California is a basket case of rotten fruit ready for the mold and disintegration of the natural process.  But, we have sympathy for the innocent victims of this natural occurence.

In reply to by Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe J S Bach Mon, 10/09/2017 - 23:22 Permalink

I'll be first to say our State's government is corrupt and immoral. Exactly the type of government that has no business being there. Does the rotten apple spoil the rest? Short answer, yeah. It doesn't mean that the sound apples are not fighting off the invasion. Problem is, total government betrayal. Satan? You bet. What do we all deserve? Death. I'm glad that my hope rests not in man but Jesus. Still, from my reading, we will be hated by the whole world. Victory here on earth or eternally? Pray for your enemies, I'm a Proverbs 3 & 25 kind of guy.

In reply to by J S Bach

Theosebes Goodfellow Theosebes Goodfellow Mon, 10/09/2017 - 18:45 Permalink

In all seriousness, here's an email from my brother a couple of hours ago:

"The fires are burning to the north, east and west of us. Many parts of Santa Rosa, including downtown have been leveled and the fire is burning into Rohnert Park. Kenwood and Glen Ellen are burning. More than 1500 structures gone so far. 20K+ evacuated. My manager's home was lost in Santa Rosa. The news reports keep mentioning the lack of fire support due to the massive size of the burn (currently 50K+ acres). No containment of any sort yet. From the last report I saw, the fire is approximately 3 miles away from us.

Winds have died off, which should help going forward. No evacuation orders as yet. We are packed as best we can. Cross your fingers."

In reply to by Theosebes Goodfellow

Implied Violins Theosebes Goodfellow Mon, 10/09/2017 - 22:20 Permalink

My best friend and his new bride lost their home in NW Santa Rosa. They had two minutes to get out. They lost all their papers, everything but their cars and cell phones. They are Ok, staying with family in Healdsburg...but I am pretty sure my near future will involve some sifting through debris, and a lot of tears.

I collected baseball cards with this guy when we were 8 years old. We saw our first porn movies together on 8mm bootlegs while someone watched for his parents to show up. Shared Playboys in his little clubhouse. Built our own baseball field, and played football in the muddy swamp next to his house. This shit hits home, big-time...and they were just married June 24th. Unreal.

In reply to by Theosebes Goodfellow

California Nig… Theosebes Goodfellow Tue, 10/10/2017 - 02:27 Permalink

fires all over the fuckin place. WTF ?? Just drove through a hundred miles of  smoke to Bay Area from Butte Country, where a fire near Paradise threatens my future retirement hs.  My lady friend's pretty hillside house near Clearlake has probably burnt... She has had the hs only one day!  After a mere two hours of occupancy, having just gotten the keys from the realtor, she was nearly suffocating from smoke and had to leave.

In reply to by Theosebes Goodfellow

Nobody For President FatTony7915726 Mon, 10/09/2017 - 22:18 Permalink

And how about the rest of us asshole? We are the majority of folks just tryin' to get by.And God didn't do this, nor Buddha or allah or any of the rest of those folks.Feon wind and low fuel moisture is doing it.I'm presently 100 to 150 north of the Santa Rosa, Ukiah, Willits Redwood Valley, Potter Valley big fires - fly over and drive through the area for many years. My son and daughter in law and grandson were visiting last night and today, took off down 101 at 2 oclock, were detoured at willits to highway 1 and around, probably back to cloverdale. Will be a long slow trip home in East Bay- they ain't there yet... 101 is closed, Highway 20  east is closed - it is a huge mess.And if you think 10 dead (so far) is god's retriubution for your perceived bad  behavior of some, you sure as hell ain't a Christian. Some of the people on this list, which used to be about mostly finance, are really fucked up.Especially those hiding behind some bible or another.

In reply to by FatTony7915726

Miffed Microbi… Nobody For President Tue, 10/10/2017 - 00:13 Permalink

In 2003 the largest fire in California history, the Cedar Fire, started 6 miles from my home. At 1:00 AM a wall of fire was coming towards us lipping the tops of the telephone poles. My daughter and I were trying to lead our horses out. Mr miffed and my other daughter had trailered 2 out and were coming back to get us and the other two. I realized we were not going to make it, set my horse free and dragged my youngest into the car. Listening to her scream her pony was going to die I gunned the car down the dirt road and just barely made it out. The fire swept by and went into a canyon killing 10 people. They burned to death in their homes. They had no warning. The few that tried to make it out in Muth canyon burned in their cars.

We were fortunate. Our horses made it and our house was spared. Both my neighbors have horses so our properties were free from brush which made a good fire break. Embers hit in many locations on our house but did not catch. Then we and several of my neighbors were looted. So we returned home to a smoldering moonscape, no electricity or water because the fire department had emptied our 10,000 gallon tanks and we had no way to pump more. We took turns guarding our home with my mossberg.

Firestorms are Hell. My thoughts and prayers are with you tonight my friend. God bless.


In reply to by Nobody For President

Theosebes Goodfellow Miffed Microbi… Tue, 10/10/2017 - 08:14 Permalink

Most of those posting callous remarks have never had a house fire. I had one in 2009 and it nearly took it all. The agony and despair, the anguish and sorrow cannot be put into words. Despite my glib jokes at the top of the comments section, I now await word from my family as to their status. On top of having 2 brothers with homes in Sonoma County, (Piner Rd. and City of Sonoma) my sister owns a house there as well, (College and Fulton). 

In reply to by Miffed Microbi…

GUS100CORRINA Deathrips Mon, 10/09/2017 - 16:04 Permalink

Wildfires Engulf Napa, Sonoma And 6 Other California Counties; More Than 20,000 Forced To FleeMy response:Question: So who is responsible for this ecological disaster in the making?Answer: ENVIRONMENTALISTS because they did not allow responsible companies to manage the land using modern forestry best practices. The SPOTTED OWL is one example that comes to mind. The brush is so thick in some of these areas that it can only be characterized as an unbelievable powderkeg waiting for a match. All that has to happen is for one lightening bolt to strike and a wildfire is born.CA is so messed up that a good fire is the only way to clean and thin the areas. Unfortunately some homes may have to be sacrificed in the process.

In reply to by Deathrips

Killdo Miffed Microbi… Mon, 10/09/2017 - 20:06 Permalink

and I walked yesterday from Russian Hill in SF to Market Street - I saw about 12 white young homeless injecting heroin, dirt-poor sitting on sidewalks and injecting at 1pm. For the first time I started worrying about walking by these people looking drugged out ,  holding syringes...some are obviously trippin' running around screaming from the top of their lungs, violently arguing with themselves... European tourists were horrified - I told them to go uphill. This was around the SF Opera/City HallTwo wealthy looking white women passed by talking about how happy they were to manage to send the whole class on a school trip to Israel...they did not even notice what was going on as they passed byMy neighbor told me there are more and more incidents involving homeless mentally disturbed people jumping on and attacking people passing by. It's getting more dystopian by the day in SF

In reply to by Miffed Microbi…

Mr. Universe Deathrips Mon, 10/09/2017 - 23:42 Permalink

I'm not sure which is worse of what I've seen in the city in the past year. Junkies shooting up in Civic Center. Guys having sex in the alley in the Castro. Dude shitting in the gutter on 6th street. Homeless tents on the side walk out on Utah St., just a few blocks from ZUKERBERG SF General Hospital. I only go into the city when necessary.

In reply to by Deathrips