Updated Oct. 31, 2:57 p.m. ET: As of 7 a.m. this morning, the Kincade fire stayed at 76,825 acres and rose to 60% containment, according to Cal Fire. Northern areas of the fire remain hard to fight due to steep terrain and narrow roads. Mandatory evacuation orders are still in effect for some areas east of Highway 101, but residents are allowed to return home from Geyserville in the north to Santa Rosa in the south, as well as all of western Sonoma County. Power has being turned on for about 60,000 customers, with electricity, gas and heat for more affected customers to be restored this evening.
Updated Oct. 30, 2:18 p.m. ET: According to Cal Fire, the Kincade fire had grown to 76,825 acres, with 30% containment, as of Wednesday morning. Fears that overnight winds would push the fire closer to Santa Rosa, and would follow the path of the 2017 Tubbs fire, subsided as the winds died down towards dawn. Evacuation orders have been lifting slowly across Sonoma County, with more expected throughout the day. The Press-Democrat is reporting that PG&E has been given the all-clear to inspect lines, a necessary step in the utility’s effort to restore power.
As of Monday morning, more than 66,000 acres have been destroyed as wildfires continue to spread across Sonoma County in Northern California. Hurricane-force winds that reached over 100 mph caused the fire to spread drastically overnight between Saturday and Sunday. Roughly 5% of the blaze is now said to be contained according to Cal Fire, a decrease from 10% containment on Saturday morning.
While a break in the weather allowed firefighters to regroup Monday morning, high winds are expected again on Tuesday night, causing further concern that the blaze may continue to sprawl beyond Sonoma.
Parts of Napa County to the north, along the border with Sonoma County, have been issued evacuation warnings as the fire is poised to make its way toward the city of Calistoga. The Napa evacuations have not been made mandatory as of Monday morning. However, Wine Enthusiast contributing editor for Napa and Sonoma, Virginie Boone, who lives in Sonoma County and has evacuated to Napa, tells us residents there are taking the warning seriously and many have already fled south. At least 185,000 people have been evacuated from Sonoma County so far, with more to be expected. Power, gas and other utilities remain unavailable for most of the county.
The Kincade fire first broke out at approximately 9:27 pm, Wednesday, October 23, and has spread for more than four straight days. Over 4,000 firefighting personnel are currently battling the blaze, which has either damaged or destroyed at least 112 structures so far.
Among the ruined properties were Soda Rock Winery in Healdsburg’s Alexander Valley, founded in 1869, which has completely burned to the ground, leaving only a stone façade and steel sculpture of a boar. The San Francisco Chronicle also reports that Field Stone Winery has been destroyed, though notes a possibility that the cellar could remain intact. A handful of other wineries, including Alexander Valley Vineyards, Moville Vineyards and Redwood Ranch & Vineyards have reported some structural damage, though the bulk of facilities remain intact. Representatives from Jordan Winery have said that while fires have burned close to the edge of their property, the winery itself, and the animals it houses, have been spared damage so far.
We will continue to monitor the situation in California and issue updates as they are received.
Published: October 28, 2019