Napa And Sonoma County Wildfires Lead To Evacuations In California

Hundreds of homes were destroyed in a wind-driven wildfire that swept through Santa Rosa California

Hundreds of homes were destroyed in a wind-driven wildfire that swept through Santa Rosa California

Firefighters assess the scene as a house burns in the Napa region of California.

Firefighters are battling several wind-whipped fires that forced evacuations of rural neighborhoods in Northern California.

Windsor Fire Chief Jack Piccinini said that almost every one of Sonoma County's fire resources is being used, but it is not enough.

Early Monday morning, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department said fires had erupted at Mark West Springs and Riebli roads in Santa Rosa, at Shiloh and Conde roads in Windsor and at Highway 116 and Fredericks Road in Sebastopol.

Firefighters were battling a 200-acre (80.9-hectare) wildfire in Napa County, an area almost 70 miles north of San Francisco that is known for its vineyards, since late Sunday evening, according to the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Other fires have also prompted evacuations in Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Glen Ellen and other areas.

Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties. The Atlas Peak fire near the city of Napa had burned more than 10,000 acres by 6 am.

Fire season is engulfing parts of Northern California. Community centers, the Sonoma County Fairgrounds and other local centers were opened for evacuees.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the counties most at risk.

Officials said it wouldn't be until daylight hours that fire agencies could begin to assess the amount of burned acreage and property loss. "It's something that we're having to be very cautious about", she said.Emergency lines were inundated with callers reporting smoke in the area, prompting officials to ask that the public "only use 911 if they see actual unattended flames, or are having another emergency".

A firefighter covers his eyes as he walks past a burning hillside in Santa Rosa.

For long time Napa Valley residents the massive fire rekindled memories of the 1981 Atlas Peak wildfire. "My Dad comes in from outside and he tells me that our neighbor rang our doorbell saying that there's a fire in Kenwood and its moving toward Glen Ellen, coming to Sonoma, and so we woke up and woke up our whole family and started getting things together, and then we moved to downtown Sonoma".

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". "Hopefully insurance takes care of it". The winds were expected to subside at midday.

Patients at a healing center in Sonoma County must be cleared as the blasts seethed on.

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