Moving wildfires ravage Northern California's wine country

Posted October 10, 2017

Crews had not yet been able to contain a fire heading toward central Napa.

"These fires have destroyed structures and continue to threaten thousands of homes, necessitating the evacuation of thousands of residents", the proclamation said. The city lost a Kmart and an unknown number of other businesses and homes as the blaze shut down schools and forced patients at two hospitals to evacuate.

The Atlas Fire, initially reported at 9:20 p.m. Sunday, had burned between 8,000 to 12,000 acres south of Lake Berryessa and off of Atlas Peak Road, according to Cal Fire.

One fast-moving fire jumped the 101 Freeway, forcing a hospital in Santa Rosa to be evacuated and burning homes and businesses, witnesses said.

San Francisco Chronicle reporter Kurtis Alexander shared footage on Twitter on Monday of both a Hilton hotel and a Kmart on fire in Santa Rosa.

According to theSanta Rosa Press Democrat, as many as 14 wildfires burned out of control overnight, threatening Wine Country and the entire North Coast region early Monday.

With the flames sweeping through entire communities, some area hospitals have been evacuated.

Santa Rosa, the largest city in the fire area with a population of about 175,000, was hit hard.

Firefighters were also battling a 50-acre grass fire on Highway 37 between Lakeville Highway and Highway 121. Wind was gusting in the areas up to 50 miles per hour.

No fires were reported in the Petaluma area early Monday morning, though smoke could be seen over the city.

Downed trees were blocking parts of one rural road and fires were burning on both sides of Highway 12 as gusts reached up to 60 miles per hour.

In recent memory, there hasn't been anything like the wildfires now burning in these relatively densely populated areas of the North Bay, and several cities and towns are likely to be assessing damages for weeks to come, and rebuilding for years to come, including Santa Rosa and Glen Ellen.

"I mean blazing, falling down on fire", he said.

Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa: In a statement at 11:30 a.m., the arts center said the main building of the complex had suffered "minimal damage, but that classrooms and the center's east end are destroyed".

Though he was rushing to escape the flames, Larsen also looked out for his neighbor who lived up the street.

The Napa Valley Register was reporting that authorities were going house to house just north of Silverado Resort urging residents to leave. In Calistoga, an evacuation center was opened at the Calistoga Fairgrounds.

San Francisco authorities issued an air quality alert due to smoke from the blazes, warning residents to close windows, limit outdoor activities and keep pets inside.