With the winds disappearing, firefighters got a firm handle on the massive Kincade Fire in Sonoma County, which has now burned 120 square miles. Growth has slowed to a crawl, and Cal Fire says there was no growth Wednesday or overnight into Thursday.
The fire stands at 76,825 acres and containment doubled by early this morning to 60 percent, up from 30 percent a day earlier. In its seventh day, the fire has burned more than twice the area of the city of San Francisco, and destroyed 282 structures, up from 206 at last count, and the Chronicle reports that 141 of those were homes. By contrast, the much smaller but more destructive Tubbs Fire in 2017 destroyed 5,643 structures in and around Santa Rosa, and last year's Camp Fire destroyed 18,804 structures. And in contrast to those fires, thankfully, there have been no fatalities in the Kincade Fire.
You can see the latest map of the fire perimeter and a zoomed-in look at the remaining hot spots below. The remaining front of the fire has crossed the county line into the woods of Lake County.
Evacuees from three of the mandatory evacuation zones around the fire are returning home today, and ABC 7 reports that 6,000 people remain under mandatory evacuation orders.
The remaining northeastern flank of the fire is in steep, rugged, rural terrain with few roads, as the topographic map above shows, making the firefight still difficult there.
KPIX reports on the emotional homecomings for evacuees in Healdsburg and Windsor, some of whom thought for sure their neighborhoods were going to go up in flames.
"I knew we had great firefighters out here but when something like that happens — a real natural disaster — there’s not a lot people can do…They somehow pulled off a miracle here," says Windsor resident Cole Smith, speaking to KPIX, after finding his family home undamaged but trees and shrubs in the neighborhood singed.
90,000 structures still remain under threat, but with at least a five-day reprieve in the wind, firefighters expect to have total control over the fire in the coming days. Full containment has been projected for November 7.
The fire broke out a full week ago, on the night of Wednesday, October 23, near a high-voltage transmission line owned by PG&E that was live at the time, and sustained wind damage.