More progress to report this morning as fire crews work tirelessly around the clock to contain the wildfires still raging on in Northern California.
As of Tuesday morning, the Tubbs Fire stands at 36,432 acres consumed and 82% containment, a significant improvement over its 70% containment from yesterday morning. The Nuns Fire, now composed of five different fires (Nuns, Adobe, Norbbom, Pressley, Partrick), stands as the largest of the Northern California fires, having consumed 52,894 acres thus far, and is 68% contained, per Cal Fire. The Central LNU Complex (Tubbs, Pocket, Sonoma Nuns, Napa Nuns, Oakmont Fires) incident report says that Cal Fire expects full containment of the fires by this Friday, October 20th and that is great news given that fires in recent seasons have sometimes taken well over two weeks to contain.
Statewide Wildland Fires Map for Tuesday, October 17, 2017 pic.twitter.com/rsycuvgMOM— Cal OES (@Cal_OES) October 17, 2017
While containment numbers are on the rise, evacuation numbers have begun to drop. As the Associated Press reports, the number of evacuees has dropped to 34,000, just over a third of the estimated 100,000 or so from Saturday. They go on to report that the death toll remains at 41, and that 5,700 homes have been destroyed.
PG&E continues to search for answers as to what may have been the initial ignition point for the fire, and they've made some progress with that investigation, reports NBC Bay Area. According to them, PG&E discovered eight different electrical equipment failures in the wildfires. They issued a statement late yesterday which reads, in part: "Since Sunday’s windstorm, the company has submitted eight electric incident reports related to damaged facilities to the CPUC." They also stress that they will “support and assist with the review of these wildfires by the appropriate regulatory agencies."
Beyond that, as we reported this morning, a new fire broke out Monday night in the Santa Cruz mountains, prompting door-to-door evacuations. That fire has consumed about 125 acres thus far.
According to the Chron's live update, a man was arrested for looting a Rincon Valley group home in Santa Rosa. Douglas James Rosado, 49, was caught trying to loot the closed group home, and sped off as police made their way there. Authorities were able capture his license plate, however, and a later search of his home turned up a washer, dryer, ShopVac, and two flat-screen televisions.
SFGate reports that Fairfield's "Glass House," completed in 2005 by architect Helena Arahuete, was destroyed as the Atlas Fire moved through the area, leaving behind nothing but the concrete foundation and a few columns standing. NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez shared a video of what remains of the home in a tweet:
One artist is choosing to process the loss of his home in Santa Rosa by drawing a few comics describing his return to where his home once stood. CBS spoke with Brian Fies, an Eisner award-winning comic artist, who told them that upon sneaking back into his neighborhood, "The only things I saw standing were the steel frames of garage doors and fireplaces and chimneys. That’s all I saw left." He went on to say, "It’s cathartic. It gives me a sense of control over something I don’t have any control over." Fies' series of comics, titled A Fire Story, can be found on his website.