The Glass Fire, which remains zero-percent contained as it continues burning in Sonoma and Napa counties, more than tripled in size between Monday and Tuesday, though calmer wind conditions overnight will hopefully lead to some containment today.
As of Tuesday morning, the fire had grown to over 36,200 acres, with some of that growth occurring in rugged parts of northern Napa near the containment line of the LNU Lightning Complex/Hennessy Fire that technically is not yet fully contained — as of Tuesday it stands at 98-percent containment. On the northeastern flank of the fire, flames moved into Robert Louis Stevenson State Park and toward Mount St. Helena.
Other hot spots appear on the northern front of the fire in Sonoma County, and the southern front in Kenwood in the Mayacamas Mountains.
"Cal Fire’s unified team is actively engaged in a coordinated response to take suppressive action on the Glass Fire, which has been split into 2 zones to effectively provide a response for the communities at risk," said Cal Fire in a morning statement.
80 structures have been confirmed destroyed as of Tuesday — the Press Democrat had the figure of 113 via Cal Fire as of last night — with another 18 damaged, but damage assessments are only just beginning. Among the buildings destroyed was the Michelin three-star Restaurant at Meadowood, and some other parts of the Meadowood resort property — which firefighters say they could not save when they ran out of water on Monday.
More than 68,000 Sonoma County residents were evacuated as of Monday evening, with another several thousand evacuated in Napa, including the entire town of Calistoga.
The fire made its way between the burn scars left by the two Sonoma wildfires in October 2017, the Tubbs and Nuns fires, burning some of the only forest and chaparral in the county that has not burned in recent years and may not have seen fire in over 100 years — which made for plenty of dry fuel. The fire also burned some areas that previously burned three years ago, due to the brush and grass that have accumulated since then.
After thousands of residents at the Oakmont senior community in eastern Santa Rosa had to be evacuated on Sunday night, it appears that the community of some 5,000 homes has been spared from flames, per KRON 4.
As the Press Democrat reports, the fire reached Trione-Annadel State Park on Monday, south of Highway 12, and firefighters ran thousands of lines of hose as they waited to watch for and put out hot spots there. There was concern that the fire could extend into Bennett Valley or even as far as Rohnert Park if it continued burning through the park.
"The fire is manipulated by the slope and the wind, and every spot on that fire acts a little differently, based on those conditions," said Santa Rosa Fire Chief Tony Gossner, speaking to the Press Democrat. "So Calistoga Road is a concern. Oakmont is still a concern. Annadel State Park into Bennett Valley is a concern, and really the concern is all of those giving us challenges at one time. That’s going to be very difficult to deal with knowing that we only have so many resources."
Thankfully, the high-wind event that pushed the originally Napa-based Glass Fire over the ridge into Sonoma on Sunday died down on Monday afternoon. (The source of the previously named Shady Fire is not yet known, but it's thought to have been potentially sparked by embers from the Glass Fire and is now part of the Glass Fire Incident).
"We are night and day compared to what we were last night," said Cal Fire Division Chief Ben Nicholls in a Monday news conference. He says the firefight still has a long way to go, but he began expressing hope that the fire on the Sonoma side would be held at Calistoga Road, just east of Santa Rosa, and would not continue crossing Highway 12 to the south.
Firefighters have been called in from multiple parts of the Bay Area, and some firefighters attacking this fire have been on the job for over a month without much time off. The LNU Lightning Complex was actively burning in both Napa and Sonoma counties as of just a few weeks ago, having started on August 16.
Top photo: Redwood City firefighters take a break as they mop up hot spots at homes that were destroyed by the Glass Incident Fire on September 28, 2020 in Santa Rosa, California. The fast-moving Glass Incident, originally called the Glass Fire, has burned over 11,000 acres in Sonoma and Napa counties. The fire is zero percent contained. Much of Northern California is under a red flag warning for high fire danger through Monday evening. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)