2 new California wildfires burn nearly 10,000 acres in a day and force evacuations – CNN
Fueled by dry conditions and high winds, the Zogg Fire in Shasta County and the Glass Fire further south in Napa County had torched 7,000 and 2,500 acres, respectively, by Sunday night after starting earlier in the day.
The Glass Fire tore through vineyards and structures Sunday evening, roaring over hills and jumping across both the Silverado Trail and the Lodi River, despite fire crews efforts to contain it, according to CNN affiliate KPIX.
“It’s a cremation,” Craig Battuello, whose family has raised grapes in St. Helena for more than a century, told the station.
There have been more than 8,100 wildfires in the state this year and firefighters continue to fight 25 major blazes, CalFire said in a news release Sunday.
“Since August 15, when California’s fire activity elevated, there have been 26 fatalities and over 7,000 structures destroyed,” the release said.
The fire is threatening about 2,200 structures, the incident report said.
More than 1,800 people have been forced to evacuate their homes and about 5,000 people are under some form of evacuation notification, Napa County spokeswoman Janet Upton told CNN Sunday night.
Among those forced to evacuate the blaze was Jan Zakin, who lives in the evacuation zone on North Crystal Springs Road, CNN affiliate KGO reported.
Zakin told the affiliate that she had to flee quickly as flames surrounded her home.
“We woke up in the middle of the night and saw flames,” Zakin told KGO. “I was in my underwear. There was a car on fire blocking access out. My dog ran away; I still haven’t found her. We left with nothing, just literally with nothing. We’re so lucky to be alive.”
Her dog was found hours later, badly burned, and is being treated by a vet, KGO reported.
Another evacuee told KGO that the fires and evacuations are becoming an unwelcome part of life.
“It gets tiring, it’s becoming a lifestyle,” Magaly Otero, who was forced to evacuate due to the LNU Complex fire weeks ago, told the affiliate. “It’s a beautiful place but it’s not right.”
Residents were heeding evacuation warnings Sunday, Napa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Henry Wofford told CNN
“We activated the high-low siren on our vehicles because we knew we needed to get people out of there quickly,” Wofford said.
“When they hear that high-low siren coming from cars as we drove through their neighborhoods they know it’s time to evacuate,” he said. “The motto is, ‘if I can hear it, it’s time to go.'”
St. Helena Hospital, located in the foothills, also had to evacuate for the second time this summer due to fire risk, Upton told CNN.
Additional evacuations were also ordered about 40 miles west of Napa County in Santa Rosa late Sunday night because of two new fires in that area, the Santa Rosa Police Department said in an emergency message.
Residents in the line of fire were told by police to “leave immediately and head south!”
Zogg Fire chars 7,000 acres
In Shasta County, the Zogg Fire had charred about 7,000 acres by Sunday night, prompting mandatory evacuations in several areas.
Officials did not say how many homes or people were under the evacuation order due to the blaze.
Firefighters have been battling the August Complex Fire in several neighboring counties for more than a month. That fire has burned more than 870,000 acres since being sparked by lightning in August.
The National Weather Service has put much of California under a Red Flag Warning through Monday.
Upton told CNN’s Paul Vercammen that fire officials were extremely concerned about heavy winds whipping up the Glass Fire overnight.
“We don’t want it up there on those ridges when the winds pick up,” Upton said.
The more than 3 million acres burned in wildfires this year in California is 26 times higher than the acres burned in 2019 for the same time period, according to CalFire.
In Southern California, the NWS tweeted, “Due to hot temperatures, dry conditions, and gusty Santa Ana winds, a Red Flag Warning will be in effect on Monday for the LA/Ventura mountains and Santa Clarita Valley. There will be the potential for rapid fire growth and extreme fire behavior, so be alert.”
Concerns about high winds and continued dry conditions have led PG&E to shutoff power in some areas in an effort to prevent more wildfires, which can be sparked by electrical equipment.
On Sunday, the utility said the planned shutoffs in northern California had decreased from 100,000 to 65,000 because of “favorable changes in forecast weather conditions.”
Napa County, where the Glass Fire is burning is on the list of counties expected to experience shutoffs.
“Once the high winds subside Monday morning, PG&E will inspect the de-energized lines to ensure they were not damaged during the wind event, and then restore power,” according to the release. “PG&E will safely restore power in stages as quickly as possible, with the goal of restoring power to nearly all customers who are safe to restore within 12 daylight hours after severe weather has passed.”