Multiple wildfires spread across Northern California Wine country forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents and tourists overnight. All of the fires began on Sunday and began to spread at an amazing rate due to near perfect combination of high temperatures, [glossary_exclude]dry[/glossary_exclude] conditions and gusting 50 to 70 mph winds. By late afternoon on Monday, more than 73,000 acres in nine counties had been burned according to Cal Fire.
Cal Fire officials have reported the Tubbs Fire in Calistoga (Napa and Sonoma County) and Santa Rosa has burned over 25,000 acres; the Atlas Fire (Napa County) has scorched over 25,000 acres south of Lake Berryessa; the Pratrick Fire west of Napa has scorched over 2,000 acres; the Nuns Fire north of Glen Ellen (Sonoma County) has burned 5,000 acres; and two large brush have burned 10,000 acres in Mendocino County. All of the fires have no containment.
Hundreds of guests were evacuated from the Silverado Resort in Napa as flames approached the buildings. Signorello Estate Winery was destroyed, along with numerous other iconic wineries and vineyards threatened. Harvest is in full swing, and beyond the threat of damage to wineries and vineyards, most roads are closed making it impossible for harvest operations to continue as scheduled. “It has been a devastating fire,” said Karissa Kruse, president of Sonoma County Winegrowers. “At this time, we are still assessing the specific damage to Sonoma County vineyards as well as to our communities and neighbors. While 90 percent of the wine grapes have been harvested, there were still grapes in the vineyards that were scheduled to be picked in the next ten days.”
All airlines serving Charles Schulz-Sonoma Co. Airport have canceled flights due to poor visibility from smoke. The closure could last days. In addition, thousands are without utilities and multiple cell towers have been destroyed causing no cell service in certain areas.
As of the publishing of this story, California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Yuba counties giving critical resources to help residents and firefighters.