Napa Fires

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by balzaccom, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. balzaccom

    balzaccom Member

    Messages:
    204
    Location:
    Wine country California
    Many of you know that we live in Napa. And if you've been following the news, you know that Napa has been suffering through terrible fires this week. Here's what we know.
    We're in downtown Napa, so far so good. The fires are mainly in the hills above the valley floor, between Napa and Sonoma, between Calistoga and Santa Rosa, and between Napa and Fairfield. But none of the fires are close to being under control, and there seems to be no timeline for when that might happen. They are just too massive.
    They've just announced mandatory evacuations of the town of Calistoga to the north...and lots of people in the outskirts of Napa itself are either evacuated or, frankly, burned out by now. We expect to have some houseguests tonight, who live up in the hills and haven't been home since Monday.
    But so far we're OK. What happens next all depends on the wind--which direction, and how strong. There are major fires both East and West of us....but to the North we have vineyards, which don't burn very well. And to South it's clear, so far. But who knows what tonight and tomorrow will bring...I've seen weather reports of winds from 5 mph, which would be great, up to 35, which would be utterly disastrous. In winds like that, embers can carry more than 1/4 of a mile, and jump any barrier the firefighters might set up.
    And the winds are projected to be from the North...so that's the best direction for us, really. We can only hope, and suffer with those who are less fortunate than we have been so far.

    Thanks to everyone who has sent us their wishes and prayers.
     
    Reef&Ruins, Jackson, Artemus and 4 others like this.
  2. Rockskipper

    Rockskipper Member

    Messages:
    733
    Location:
    W. Colorado
    Stay safe, and of course you know to err on the side of caution if it looks like it might come closer. It's beyond tragic with all that's happening. Please keep us updated as you can.
     
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  3. Artemus

    Artemus I walk

    Messages:
    3,136
    Location:
    better off outside
    Take care, Balza! and thanks for the status report...
     
  4. balzaccom

    balzaccom Member

    Messages:
    204
    Location:
    Wine country California
    Well, made it through another night last night. But tonight they are concerned about high winds and very low humidity again, conditions expected to continue through Saturday evening. The winds will be highest on the ridge tops. No telling what that will bring.

    We're fine in our house in the downtown part of Napa. The smoke is still quite think in Napa, and the streets are pretty quiet. No tourists, and even some of the local have left for greener or safer pastures. We've taken a carload of our most treasured items to my father-in-law's house in the East Bay for safe keeping. Calistoga remains completely evacuated, while in parts of Napa those evacuation orders may be lifted. Others have already lost their homes. Many businesses, including official offices, are closed due to the smoke.

    And it all depends on the wind tonight. None of these fires is more than 10% contained...
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017 at 8:41 AM
    Rockskipper likes this.
  5. Rockskipper

    Rockskipper Member

    Messages:
    733
    Location:
    W. Colorado
    Hang in there. Must be harrowing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017 at 10:23 PM
  6. balzaccom

    balzaccom Member

    Messages:
    204
    Location:
    Wine country California
    One more update on the fires in California's wine country. We live in the center of Napa City, and so far we have had no fires or damage in our part of the city. The smoke has been quite intense from time to time. Since Sunday night the fires have burned some 200,000 acres in the hills on all sides of Napa, but the Napa Valley floor itself has had very limited damage.

    Over the past few days, the fires burned in many directions, and fire crews have been able to use that development to establish burned out zones that give us some protection. The two largest fires are the Atlas Fire, in the hills between Napa and Solano Counties; and the Tubbs Fire between Napa and Sonoma Counties. Both of those fires are now more than 40% contained, due to these burn zones. The Nun Fire is in the Mayacamas Mountains between the towns of Napa and Sonoma, and it is still only 5% contained. It is in very steep, rugged terrain, and very difficult to manage. Even in the other two fires, we expect that there are areas that will continue to burn until we get a significant rainfall. But since they are now far from undamaged homes, and hard to access, those areas are not of major concern.

    So what's happening right now? Strong winds from the Northeast are blowing on the fires at 20-40 mph. For the Atlas Fire, this means that most of the fire is being driven back over an area that had previously burned in Napa County, so we're hopeful that it won't mean much further damage. But the southern end of this fire is burning towards Green Valley near Fairfield in Solano County, and towards Highway 12 between Napa and Fairfield. We hope our friends over there are still safe. Some areas of southwestern Solano County are now under a mandatory evacuation order.

    The more northern Tubbs Fire is burning into the southeast part of Santa Rosa. There are new mandatory evacuation orders in those areas, and the city of Calistoga in Napa County, also south of this fire, is still under a mandatory evacuation.

    The Nun Fire is burning towards the town of Sonoma, and mandatory evacuation orders are now in place for most of area east of Sonoma itself. Those are new orders as of last night due to the wind and the growth of the fire.

    So eastern Sonoma County is quite seriously threatened. The evacuation orders along the eastern edge of the city of Napa have been lifted in some areas, because there is nothing left to burn, and the active part of the fire is now farther east. And as a result, the evacuation advisories for neighboring areas of Napa have been lifted. Right now the biggest threat to Napa County seems to be the Nun Fire, to the West, which is burning up over the ridge from Dry Creek Road towards the main valley, and the Tubbs Fire threatening Calistoga at the northern end of the valley.

    Today the air in the city of Napa is sparklingly clear---due to the winds that are pushing all the smoke south.

    More than 90,000 people have been evacuated because of these fires, and the death toll now stands at nearly 40--although more than 200 people are still reported missing. Among our staff, we have one employee whose home is in the mandatory evacuation zone in Sonoma County, one whose home is still under an evacuation advisory in Napa, and another whose home is in an area where the evacuation orders have now been lifted. Friends and colleagues in Napa, Sonoma, and Solano Counties continue to have a gamut of experiences, from miraculous escapes to sad losses of homes.

    We have taken a few of our most treasured possessions out of town to keep them safe, and among those are our backpacking equipment. We figured if we really had to manage to live away from home for a while, what is in our backpacks gives us most of what we need: clothing, shelter, water filter, first aid kit, raingear, etc.

    The wind is expected to slowly ease later today, and after that we hope to get three or four days of calmer weather, followed by a tantalizing prospect of rain later in the week.

    Thanks to everyone who has sent the kind wishes. And thanks also to the emergency personnel, who have done a really remarkable job in utterly overwhelming conditions.
     
    Rockskipper likes this.
  7. Rockskipper

    Rockskipper Member

    Messages:
    733
    Location:
    W. Colorado
    You just gave more information then I've been able to glean from several noteworthy news sources, including the LA Times and SF Gate. Stay safe and please continue to let us know how you are when you can.
     
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