Firefighters added another eight percent to their containment of the Kincade Fire on Thursday and into Friday morning, aided by cool weather and calm winds. And the number of homes destroyed has risen from 141 to 167, as property owners continue to assess and report damage.
The only main area of the fire that still isn't encircled by containment lines is the northeast flank of the blaze, which is in steep and often inaccessible territory straddling Sonoma and Lake Counties.
"Most of the whole west side to the east is all real cold and looking really good,” said Sonoma County Fire Chief Mark Heine in a press conference, according to the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. 'There is still work to do on the east side, in the hills above Middletown… in the very rugged area through the Geysers geothermal property. It’s really hard territory for the crews to get in."
The fire has burned a total of 77,758 acres, up slightly from the 76,825 acre figure given on Thursday morning.
As the Press-Democrat reports, 1,400 PG&E customers in and around the fire zone are still without power, in addition to 325 customers in the Bodega Highway corridor around Occidental and Freestone.
Sonoma County residents returning home after being evacuated tell ABC 7 that the experience was dramatically different than during the Tubbs Fire two years ago.
"It was less stressful because we knew: 10 a.m. Saturday morning, out by 4 p.m. in the afternoon," says resident Kim Tyner. "And that was well ahead of the fire." Tyner and her husband added that people were nicer as they went about evacuating in traffic, which was also different than during the Tubbs Fire panic.
This fire also didn't move as fast into a densely populated residential fire in the middle of the night the way the Tubbs Fire did.
On Thursday, the Chronicle published this visual, interactive piece illustrating the likely ignition point of the Kincade Fire: a PG&E transmission tower that sits beside a decommissioned geothermal plant. The fire was first reported last Wednesday, ironically, on a spot along Burned Mountain Road where it meets Kincade Road, very close to this tower. One has to assume that Burned Mountain Road was so named just after this mountain burned sometime in the past.
Photo: Joanne Francis/Unsplash