Wine Country Fires Continue To Spread, Threaten New Communities
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY, OCT. 11, 8:15 P.M. PT:
Areas of Geyserville are under mandatory evacuations and some Napa residents have been told to get ready to leave, but are not under mandatory evacuation, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. As of Wednesday evening, over 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed in the North Bay.
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY, OCT. 11, 3:35 P.M. PT:
The City of Calistoga, home to several hotels, wineries, spas and restaurants, is now under mandatory evacuation.
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY, OCT. 11, 11:20 A.M. PT:
There is a red flag warning now in effect for some inland areas due to stronger winds and low humidity that could spread the fires. The wind is not expected to be as strong as it was on Sunday night. The warning is in effect from 11 a.m. Wednesday until 5 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
In Fairfield, where the latest fires threaten, some neighborhood residents have been advised to have go-bags ready with essential items, such as medicine and important papers, though no evacuation orders have been given for those neighborhoods yet, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY, OCT. 11, 9:15 A.M. PT:
The wildfires in Wine Country remain largely out of control with the Atlas Fire 3% contained as of Wednesday morning, according to Cal Fire. The Atlas fire reached the border of Solano County Wednesday morning prompting additional evacuations and is inching toward Fairfield. The Tubbs fire has grown to 28,000 acres Tuesday night and threatens 16,000 structures.
Heavy smoke and power outages prompted several business closures on Tuesday. Santa Rosa Plaza, which has over 100 stores, was closed Tuesday due to heavy smoke and may reopen Wednesday morning, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The mall, which is owned by Simon Property Group, was not damaged by the fire. Whole Foods Market also closed its stores in Napa as well as its store at the Coddingtown mall in Santa Rosa due to power outages. In Fairfield, Budweiser suspended operations at its brewing facility due to smoke and poor air quality.
The wildfires throughout all of California have so far burned 170,000 acres and destroyed thousands of structures including hotels, wineries, homes and businesses. The fire in Santa Rosa also destroyed an assisted living facility, Villa Capri, and damaged another community owned by Oakmont Senior Living. Its LGBT retirement community, Fountaingrove Lodge, and The Terraces remain intact, according to the company’s website.
Over 2,000 structures have been destroyed in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties Tuesday in what officials are calling one of the worst firestorms in the state's history. Over 100,000 acres have burned in the North Bay, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Several wine country hotels, including The Fountaingrove Inn and Hilton Sonoma Wine Country in Fountaingrove, have succumbed to the fires, SFGate reports. Guests at several hotels, including the Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, have been evacuated. The resort was not damaged.
Over two dozen wineries and restaurants were closed Monday in Napa Valley. Calistoga Spa Hot Springs, Carneros Resort & Spa, Meadowood Napa Valley, Poetry Inn and Silverado Resort & Spa were closed, according the Visit Napa Valley. As of Tuesday morning, 14 fires were still burning with the largest fires in Napa and Sonoma counties with zero containment.
Keysight Technologies, which creates technology that conducts electronic measurements, has temporary closed its Santa Rosa headquarters due to the fires, according to SFGate. Its headquarters, which has four buildings that remain intact despite minor damage, will be closed at least until Wednesday.
Several wineries in Napa have burned or remain under threat, the East Bay Times reports. As of Tuesday morning, a total of 21 commercial structures and over 500 homes have been destroyed in Santa Rosa. Businesses such as a Kmart, a McDonald’s, an Arby’s and an Applebee’s also were destroyed near Santa Rosa. The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts suffered damage. The Safari West zoo, a small zoo in Santa Rosa, remains under threat, but has not succumbed to flames, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The series of fires that began late Sunday night have hit Napa and Sonoma counties the hardest with roughly 50,000 acres burnt, according to the Press Democrat. The Tubbs fire near Santa Rosa has burned over 27,000 acres and the Napa County Atlas Peak fire had reached roughly 25,000 acres as of Tuesday morning. Evacuation orders throughout the region remain in place.
To help those affected by the fires, Knotel is offering space at it San Francisco location at 972 Mission St. on the third floor to any displaced workers or businesses. Space is available free of charge through the end of the week. Knotel has tables, chairs, snacks and drinks set up at this location.
Airbnb also launched its Open Home program on Monday to provide temporary accommodations for free. The program was deployed after Hurricanes Irma, Maria and Harvey and after the earthquake in Mexico and the Las Vegas shooting. Bay Area hotels, including Westin St. Francis, Stanford Court Hotel, Clift Hotel – sbe and The Kimpton Buchanan also offered discounted rates on Monday.
This story is ongoing and will be updated.