Monday morning thunderstorms have sparked multiple vegetation fires in Napa County, including a significant-looking one in the woods near St. Helena, and a lightning strike took out power for 11,000 customers in Healdsburg.
Small fires have been caused across the Bay Area in the last 36 hours, and down in the Santa Cruz Mountains, by a series of highly unusual August thunderstorms. The storms, and the lightning that comes with them, are the offshoots of Tropical Storm Fausto, which is spinning hundreds of miles to the southwest in the Pacific Ocean off the Baja Peninsula.
Wondering where this moisture is coming from bringing us these thunderstorms? Check out this GOES-17 infrared imagery and follow the moisture back to Tropical Storm Fausto#CAwx pic.twitter.com/cOWq5pABcs— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) August 16, 2020
As of Monday morning at 11:30 a.m., several fires were burning in Napa County, including one near St. Helena along Chiles Pope Valley Road that was captured by ABC7 cameras. Per KTVU, a total of at least 20 brush fires were reported in the county this morning.
As ABC7 reports, via area firefighters, the blaze started at 6:40 a.m. Monday on the 60 block of Hennessey Ridge Road. The Napa County Sheriff has now issued evacuation orders for the following areas: Sage Canyon Road from Chiles Pope Valley Road to Lower Chiles Road, Highway 128 at Silverado Trail to Chiles Pope Valley Road, including Pritchard Hill, and Highway 128 at Lower Chiles Valley Road to Turtle Rock.
@abc7newsbayarea FB live feed showing fast moving fire in St Helena, Napa County, California. Lightning from tstorms have sparked new fires today in Northern CA. #breaking #cawx #cafire pic.twitter.com/pMBYOxGyVn— Michael Gibson (@Geekflanka) August 17, 2020
The brush fire is described as "fast moving," and it's not yet clear how many acres have already been burned.
A Red Flag Warning covering much of the Bay Area was lifted as of Monday morning as the passing storm cells were trending wetter, with some brief but significant rainfall hitting Sonoma County and elsewhere.
In the northern Sonoma County town of Healdsburg, 11,000 PG&E customers were without power on Monday morning following a lightning-caused outage there. As KPIX reports, the Healdsburg Police Department was being inundated with calls about the outage, prompting warnings to residents not to use 911 for such calls.
Meanwhile, two significant wildfires that began due to early morning lightning strikes on Sunday morning continue to burn in Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties.
The Deer Zone Fires, as CalFire is calling them, have burned 1,161 acres near Deer Valley Road and Marsh Creek Road, southwest of Brentwood, and it is still 0% contained.
The Marsh Fire is burning near Arroyo Hondo Road and Oakridge Road, northeast of Milpitas in Santa Clara County. It has burned 1,775 acres and is 0% contained.
And, as KTVU reports, another as-yet-unnamed fire popped up Monday morning in Alameda County at North Flynn and Comstock Roads in Livermore.
Photo: Jeff Deeter/SFist