Wildfires Force Evacuations Around Northern California


Napa County fire officials said that the wild fires had burned more than 68 square miles, destroying more than 50 structures.

Several fast-moving wildfires have ravaged Northern California's wine country, destroying properties and crops, triggering widespread evacuations and prompting California's governor to declare a state of emergency.

In Santa Rosa, patients at Kaiser Permanente hospital were safely moved to other facilities, according to the hospital's Twitter account. One person has died from the fires, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. The blaze has also crossed the 101 Freeway in Santa Rosa, igniting structures west of the freeway. Windy and dry conditions were making it hard for firefighters to battle the blaze.

As of 6:13 a.m. on October 9, the Cherokee Fire in Butte County had burned 1,000 acres and caused evacuations.

Officials said Sonoma County emergency dispatchers were being "overwhelmed by 911 calls" from residents smelling smoke, adding, "Please only call 911 if you see actual unattended flames". Multiple other counties were affected as smoke pushed into neighborhoods as day broke.

A red-flag warning is in effect for the North Bay and East Bay hills, meaning there is an elevated risk for fire danger because of dry conditions and gusty winds. As many as 8,000 homes are threatened in Nevada County, the Associated Press reported.

Wesley Carr, 23, a resident of Sebastopol in Sonoma County, said on Monday morning that smoke from the fires had enveloped the area.

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If O'Gorman hadn't been coming home from work to wake her family, "we would have been in the house trapped", she said. The fires have forced also forced the closure of all public schools in Santa Rosa and Calistoga today. "We are not on scene yet and haven't been able to determine the best evacuation route".

Downed trees were blocking parts of one rural road and fires were burning on both sides of Highway 12.

The Cal Fire service confirmed the Tubbs fire of Napa Valley has burned 20,000 acres of land in total, while the Nuns fire of Sonoma has destroyed 300 acres.

Forecasters said winds will remain strong on Monday morning but are expected to ease by midday.

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

"That's when we said, 'It's time to go, '" Regan said.