The Cost And Scope Of NorCal's Kincade Fire By The Numbers
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Though the exact cause of Sonoma County's ongoing and devastating Kincade Fire may take months to identify, its devastation is becoming clearer by the hour.
At 30% contained as of Wednesday morning, the Kincade Fire is expected to burn for at least another nine days, according to Cal Fire, the state's fire protection agency.
Already, 76,825 acres of Sonoma County have burned, an area bigger than the size of Sacramento. The result is about 185,000 people in the county being ordered to evacuate through the now six-day ordeal.
By Wednesday morning, 206 buildings have been destroyed, with 94 of them being residential, seven commercial and 105 "other," according to Cal Fire. In all, the agency considers 90,015 structures in the region's evacuation zone to be threatened, with about 80,000 being residential.
Much of Northern California saw hurricane-level Diablo winds — the impetus for Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s new power shut-off measure — which have caused the regional catastrophe.
The worst came Sunday morning throughout the region. Just north of Healdsburg, California, in Sonoma County, winds reached 102 mph, National Weather Service meteorologist Drew Peterson reported on Twitter. Elsewhere, they exceeded 90 mph.
Took a nap at 7am when the peak gust was 93mph at Healdsburg Hills North.— Drew Peterson (@Mithris) October 27, 2019
I woke up and now see Pine Flat road at 3300 ft broke 100mph gust (102mph) and sustained winds officially broke Hurricane Force (78mph) at 8am.#cawx #cafire #kincadefire @NWSBayArea pic.twitter.com/2Y6Xi96gqF
A high-wind event in the area starting Tuesday evening was successfully handled by ready firefighters, who kept the fire from reaching Santa Rosa. In all, almost 4,900 firefighters have been deployed to fight the Kincade Fire.
The breadth of the shut-off effort has dwarfed PG&E's first round of power shut-offs this month, which were unprecedented in scope. On Sunday, 973,000 customers across 36 counties had lost power due to planned outages, while another 100,000 lost power due to damage to PG&E equipment, according to the utility company.
In all, about 1.3 million people in the Bay Area, and about 2.8 million people in all of Northern California, were without power to begin the week. Many of the same customers who lost power were the same residents ordered to evacuate.
By late Tuesday night, PG&E had restored power to about 710,000, or 73%, of affected customers. The utility company expects no high-wind events for the next week and now is inspecting thousands of miles of lines before reenergizing them for remaining customers.
Devastating much of the same Sonoma County territory as the Kincade Fire, the Tubbs Fire in 2017 burned 25,000 acres and destroyed thousands of buildings, according to Cal Fire. The total economic damage when all was said and done was estimated to be $1.2B. The Kincade Fire has already burned three times as much land.
This is a developing story.