The death toll is now tragically up to 15, and sure to go higher as at least 150 remain missing in 17 separate firesburning across Napa, Mendocino, Sonoma, and five other California counties. Cooler overnight temperatures did help firefighters hold back the blazes, but most of the fires are still classified as uncontained and we’re beginning to receive word of some pretty significant losses, both in human and cultural terms. If you have trouble keeping track on which fires are the Tubbs, Nuns, Atlas, Patrick, Sulphur, and Cascade fires, the National Wildfire Coordinating Group has a detailed map of all the fires and their most severe outbreaks, and NASA has a satellite image as well.
We brought news yesterday of the many wineries destroyed, and this will likely be the most destructive single fire event in the history of California wine country. The above video shows the smoldering remains near Napa’s Silverado Resort and Spa, which had just hosted a PGA tournament this weekend, and bordered the home of the couple who’d been married 75 years and perished together in the fire. The fires in this area are being described as the Atlas Fire, concentrated near Lake Berryessa with evacuations now extending into Solano County according to KRON 4, and as of this morning Cal Fire estimates the Atlas Fire is as large as 25,000 acres.
The most severely affected region is Sonoma County, where the Tubbs Fire still covers at 27,000 acres and has caused 9 fatalities according to the LA Times. We learned yesterday that the Santa Rosa Hilton was fully engulfed in flames as seen above, as well as several acres of homes around it. A zoo facility called Safari West in Santa Rosa remains at risk, though the zoo is currently working to deal with its animals, who are still caged in the evacuation zone.
Other collateral damage in the Tubbs Fire includes portions of the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts (though they say their main building is still intact), the historic Fountaingrove Inn and its Round Barn wedding venue (which dates back to 1899), wineries Signorello Estates and Chateau St. Jean, as well as much of Santa Rosa’s Cardinal Newman High School, according to the Chronicle.
You’ve really got to feel for Lake County, home of the decimated Harbin Hot Springs and still recovering from the Valley Fire of 2015 and the Clayton Fire in 2016. The Sulphur Fire is now burning beside Clear Lake, and Cal Fire has that blaze currently at 2,500 acres, with residents anecdotally noting they have no cell phone or internet service and that docks along Clear Lake have burned away.
In case this is the only thing someone has left, my mom says, tweet this photo that landed on our deck. Anyone you know? My DMs are open. pic.twitter.com/p9FLnvJuBc— Jenna Lane (@jennalane) October 10, 2017
Further inland, the state of emergency declared by Governor Brown also extends to Yuba County. As of this morning, what is being called the Cascade Fire is currently burning about 16,000 acres in Yuba, Butte, Nevada counties, according to the Sacramento Bee. Some evacuations have now been lifted, but one fatality has been reported and close to 300n structures have been destroyed in that fire.
I’ve heard many San Franciscans complain about smoke and ash these last couple days. But people, our neighbors to the north and east have it incalculably worse right now. SFist will continue providing updates on the fires as they are reported.