California Wildfires Prompt Mass Evacuations In Napa Valley

Frederick Owens
October 10, 2017

Wildfires erupted in Northern California over the weekend, forcing residents in the wine country north of San Francisco to flee as homes went up in flames. Flames consumed mobile homes next to the Kaiser hospital while hospital employees rushed patients to safety.

The fire has crossed Highway 101 in Santa Rosa and ignited structures west of the freeway in the area of Kohl's Department Store on Hopper Avenue.

The city also ordered evacuations in several neighborhoods.

"The winds have just been outrageous here tonight, and essentially we are in a mode of saving people's lives and getting people out of harm's way at the moment", Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jonathan Cox said. A faster moving fire in Napa County, the Atlas Fire, grew from 5,000 acres to 25,000 in just the last few hours. Emergency lines were inundated with callers reporting smoke in the area. One Twitter user reported that her building was evacuated after a resident pulled the fire alarm due to the smell.

A smoke advisory was issued Monday for the San Francisco Bay Area as the result of massive wildfires in Napa and Sonoma counties. Community centers, the Sonoma County Fairgrounds and other local centers were opened for evacuees.

A red-flag warning is in effect for the North Bay and East Bay hills, meaning there is an elevated risk for fire danger because of dry conditions and gusty winds.

One of the biggest problems in Sonoma County is the Tubbs Fire.

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Highway 37 has reopened in both directions between Novato and Vallejo after being closed early Monday morning because of a vegetation fire, California Highway Patrol officials said. Officials said the Silverado Country Club - site of this week's PGA Tour tournament - was evacuated.

"Gusty north to northeasterly winds will continue into early Monday afternoon across north-central California, especially in the mountains and down into the foothills", Root said. Montecito area evacuated. Crosswalk Church is full.

"Trees were ablaze like lights", she said.

"We had very strong gusts", Biermann said.

"We're focusing on making evacuations and trying to keep people safe". Those impacted by the fire can also check the Cal Fire website or Nixle for further updates on evacuations.

In Santa Rosa, the Fountain Grove Inn and Hotel was destroyed and another hotel, the Hilton, was in flames, the affiliate reported.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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