September 19, 2018

How did Northern California fires become so devastating?

12 October 2017, 06:23 | Devin Moran

CAL FIRE GOOGLECalifornia wildfires map Santa Rosa and Sonoma County are some of the worst affected

California wildfire map from Cal Fire

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday night two more people have died in the Tubbs Fire.

Describing the fight against a multidimensional event, Cox laid out firefighters' priorities: "To protect people's lives and get them out of harm's way, to protect the structures and also to build containment lines where we do have the opportunities of engagement".

Almost 300 people are missing, but police say that may be due to the chaotic nature of evacuations.

"I've heard some very harrowing stories."

The Department of Homeland Security has said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency immediately agreed to the state's request for federal funds to help fight numerous fires.

All of it primed the state for disaster when two weather patterns got into position to play their roles in the drama.

The largest fire, at 42,000 acres and counting, is the Atlas fire spanning Napa and Solano counties south of Lake Berryessa.

With fires advancing from several sides in Sonoma Valley, law enforcement officers on loan from other areas of Northern California barred residents of evacuated communities from returning to see how the homes and businesses had fared.

According to CoreLogic, a global property analytics company, 172,117 homes faced some level of risk from the wildfires in the Napa and Santa Rosa metropolitan areas.

Summer Black says flames began coming over a ridge shortly after 11 p.m. Monday in an area bordering Oakmont and Trione-Annadel State Park.

Saying that law enforcement officers in Sonoma County were going door to door to pull people from their homes as the fires approached, Pimlott said it was critical that residents heeded evacuation orders so firefighters could focus on containing the flames that were nourished into giants by 50 miles per hour winds on Sunday night.

Officials are telling residents who are under mandatory evacuation orders to stay away until an all-clear order is given.

About 75,000 electric customers are without service in the North Bay, with the majority of those in Sonoma and Napa counties, a PG&E spokeswoman said this evening.

At one point Monday, there were at least 114,000 customers affected by the outage.

"This particular stretch of roadway was in the area of Franz Valley Rd at the onset of the fire's entrance to Sonoma County", the post read.

"We took this action with our gas assets with safety first in mind to protect our customers and our communities."

One neighbourhood of older homes was scorched, leaving only brick chimneys and downed power lines.

The official cause of the fire has not been determined. It also cut gas service to more than 44,000 customers, because of the quick-spreading fires.

Pitre said his law firm has already been contacted by Sonoma County residents who said transformers exploded and wires sparked unrelated to wildfire.

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