13 Deaths, 2,000 Structures Destroyed in Northern California Fires

31 Deaths, 3,500 Structures Destroyed in Northern California Fires

UPDATE! BIG PROPS to Latino Community Foundation for being THE FIRST to help our Latino families affected by the fires!

We are feeling the most for our low-income Communities – who don’t have the resources (or insurances) so they can recover lost cars, homes and household items.

Santa Rosa (and other cities near wineries) have many of these Communities. CLICK BELOW for ways to help!

Latino families of Wine Country Fires need help!

We are feeling the most for our low-income Communities – who don’t have the resources (or insurances) – so they can recover lost cars, homes and household items.

Santa Rosa (and cities near wineries) have many of these Communities.

If anyone hears of any fundraisers, please let us know below!


15 Deaths, 2,000 Structures Destroyed in Northern California Fires


Updated Oct 11, 5:45pm

Wildfires have burned nearly 170,000 acres in California. The largest fires were in Northern California’s Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties, filling the picturesque landscape of the state’s wine country with charred rubble and clouds of smoke.

• More than 500 people have been reported missing in Sonoma County alone, authorities said Wednesday. More than 100 other people who had been reported missing were later found to be safe, Giordano, the sheriff, said.

• Of the 21 people who have died since Sunday night, 11 were killed in the Tubbs wildfire in Sonoma County, officials said. That makes the Tubbs fire, one of 22 blazes burning in the state, the sixth-deadliest fire in recorded California history, authorities said.

• People who left evacuation zones in Sonoma County aren’t yet allowed to return, Giordano said.

• Officials said Wednesday that almost 8,000 firefighters are involved in trying to contain the blazes. The equipment being used includes 550 fire trucks — at least 170 of which came from out of state — 73 helicopters and more than 30 planes.


KQED news updates:

Updated Oct. 10, 12:20 p.m.

A fire official says two more people have died in Sonoma County, raising the total number of people killed in wildfires in Northern California to 15.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Chief Ken Pimlott said Tuesday at least 2,000 homes, businesses and other structures have been destroyed.

He says it would be up to local authorities to release the names of the victims once their families have been notified.

Pimlott says there are 16 fires burning throughout the region with another blaze in Orange County. At least 4,000 personnel are helping fight the blazes.

Sonoma County spokeswoman Maggie Fleming said about 200 missing-person reports have been lodged as family members and friends scramble to locate loved ones while wildfires ravage the region.

Fleming said Tuesday the reports have come via calls to a hotline. She says it’s possible that most of those reported missing are safe but can’t be reached because of the widespread loss of cellphone service and other communications.


Updated Oct. 10, 9:30 a.m.

Power outage is widespread in Northern California. Currently, 27,000 people are without power in Napa County.

Comcast has set up complimentary hotspots for the following zip codes: “95401”, “95403”, “95404”, “95405”, “94558”, “94559”, “94903”.

Cal Fire asks people to refrain from flying drones in fire areas, or else they can’t fly their own aircraft.

To receive alerts on your phone for activity in your neighborhood, text your zip code to 888-777. To receive alerts in Spanish, text your zip code to: ESP 888-777.


Updated Tuesday, Oct. 10, 9:15 a.m.

Two more people have died in Mendocino County bringing the total death toll to 13, Cal Fire reports.


Original story

California’s fire chief says at least 1,500 homes and commercial buildings have been destroyed in wildfires that have ripped through the state’s wine country.

He said numerous people have been injured and a number of residents are also missing as 14 large fires burn.

Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott said an estimated 20,000 people have been evacuated.

He called the estimates of destroyed structures very conservative. Pimlott says the fires are burning throughout an eight-county swath of Northern California, including Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties.

Approximately 57,000 total acres (89 square miles) have burned so far and there is little to no containment, Pimlott said.

Pimlott said most of the fires started at about 10 p.m. Sunday and their causes are under investigation. He said firefighters are concentrating on saving lives rather than battling the blazes.

He said winds whipped up to 50 mph overnight fueling the blazes, but said weather forecasts indicate winds should subside over the next few hours, slowing their forward progress.

He didn’t have an estimate on the number of people hurt and missing.

The California National Guard has deployed six helicopters and 100 personnel to assist Cal Fire, according to Maj. Gen. David Baldwin.

Gov. Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency declaration that will free up resources for Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties.

“This is really serious, it’s moving fast. The heat, lack of humidity and wind are all driving a very dangerous situation and making it worse,” Brown said. “We are getting mutual aid from local counties and other parts of the country. … This is serious business, we are watching it, and it is not under control by any means.”

More than 200 people were hurriedly evacuated from two Santa Rosa hospitals threatened by the wildfires that erupted overnight.

Lisa Amador, a spokeswoman with Sutter Health, said around 9 a.m. that Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital had finished evacuating the last of more than 80 patients in surgical, labor and emergency care.

She says the hospital is sending staff home. Amador says the hospital and the medical office building next to it are intact, but other structures are ruined.

Jenny Mack, a spokeswoman for Kaiser Permanente, says about 130 patients were evacuated from the Santa Rosa medical center Monday morning.

She said all appointments and surgeries are canceled for the day in Santa Rosa and Napa, and the KP medical offices in Napa are closed.


Original Post

Firefighters are battling multiple wind-whipped fires in Napa and Sonoma Counties that have forced thousands of evacuations.

“I woke up to an orange glow in the window,” said resident John Campbell, who described seeing flames in his backyard and then quickly fleeing his home with just his shorts on. Campbell grabbed his dog and took off in his truck to the Napa shelter, where he said, “I’m in shock.”


Sonoma County resident John Campbell fled his home with no shirt. Someone gave him the shirt he is wearing (Mina Kim/KQED)


There have been numerous reports of structures damaged, including some homes. The Santa Rosa city manager has declared the fires in Santa Rosa as a local emergency.

At the Veterans Memorial Building in Santa Rosa, evacuees were cramming to get to safety.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported that authorities were evacuating Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital at 1:30 a.m. Traffic was backed up at multiple intersections and many people had abandoned their cars in the streets to flee the flames, the Press Democrat reported.

Kaiser Permanente Hospital was also being evacuated.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were dispatched to help firefighters and California Highway Patrol officers with evacuations.

The multiple fires broke out Sunday night as strong winds buffeted the area. Emergency lines were inundated with callers reporting smoke in the area.


Flames overtake a structure as nearby homes burn in the Napa wine region in California on October 9, 2017, as multiple wind-driven fires continue to whip through the region.
Flames overtake a structure as nearby homes burn in the Napa wine region in California on Oct. 9, 2017, as multiple wind-driven fires continue to whip through the region. (JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)


Jean Altobell of Napa was awakened by police banging on her door early Monday. She grabbed what she could from her home and then helped her 92-year-old neighbor evacuate.

Despite the frantic escape, Altobell appeared remarkably calm. “What else can you do?” she asked.

Downed trees were blocking parts of one rural road and fires were burning on both sides of Highway 12.

In Napa County, Cal Fire says firefighters were battling as many as 10 blazes that forced hundreds of evacuations in the Soda Canyon, Atlas Peak and Patrick Road areas of Napa and in Calistoga.

Shelters are set up at sites throughout the two counties. At the Crosswalk Community Church in Napa, evacuees told of dramatic escapes as they tried to stay calm.


At the Santa Rosa Vets Building, evacuees Jenine and David Akers sit, along with their cat. (Tiffany Camhi/KQED)


More neighborhoods were added to the evacuation orders, including all residences to the north of Fountaingrove Parkway. Authorities were advising anyone who was not under an order to evacuate to stay off the roads to reduce congestion.

Here’s how the Napa Valley Register described the scene early Monday:

“Flames illuminated hillsides, smoke saturated the air and in places ash rained down as residents up and down the Napa Valley took to their yards and cars to assess their safety.”

Cal Fire has ordered 24 strike teams from as far away as San Francisco to try to deal with this unprecedented situation, Belia Ramos, the chair of the Napa County Board of Supervisors, told the Register.

Residents throughout the Bay Area could smell the smoke blanketing the valley.

Here are some of the emergency shelters being listed:

  • Petaluma Community Center
  • Napa County Fairgrounds
  • Crosswalk Community Church in Napa
  • Napa Valley Junior College
  • The Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building
  • Large animals can be taken to the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds

The Associated Press, Don Clyde and Lisa Pickoff-White contributed to this report.