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  • Elaine Chukan Brown
Written by
  • Elaine Chukan Brown
9 Oct 2017

16 October See Alder's update, Devastation continues in Napa and Sonoma.

Jancis writes at 7 am 10 October UK time, updated 14 October Elaine was such a trooper to send this report. She has just sent this message: 'We had to evacuate. Got daughter out earlier today. Stayed to help neighbour and animal rescue near our house evacuate. En route now to where we will stay. Exhausted but we are safe. Super grateful.' 

Signorello in Napa and Paradise Ridge in Santa Rosa, Sonoma, wineries are reported razed to the ground. Many vineyards singed. Alder reported that 10 people [at least 34 by 14 October with more than 100 people missing] lost their lives in the conflagration and reports, 'The fires are only single-digit percentages contained. The devastation is far from over.' He will contribute a report on the effects of the fires to be published early next week. 

Elaine wrote at 4 pm 9 October UK time, 8 am California time Residents of San Francisco and the East Bay have just woken up this morning to a distinctly smoky atmosphere thanks to the collective impact of overnight fires that broke out throughout the North Coast. 

Governor Brown has declared a State of Emergency.

Over 60 wildfires were ignited throughout Napa and Sonoma counties last night. Most were started by high winds taking down trees and sparking above-ground power lines. Emergency responses were forced to focus on evacuations rather than containment as the unusually dry conditions combined with wind led to fires spreading quickly.

In Napa Valley, one of the biggest fires in Atlas Peak quickly spread to several hundred acres, still threatens hundreds of homes and forced a mass evacuation along the Silverado Trail between Oakville and Yountville. The Silverado Resort was evacuated as a result. Wineries Stag's Leap, Darioush, Chimney Rock, Shafer, Pine Ridge, and Silverado, among others, are all within the path of the Atlas Peak fire. In Coombsville the fire was only 100 meters from Farella winery, as shown in the photo below with Tom Farrella.


Other photos were taken along the Silverado Trail by Poe winemaker Sam Sheehan. She and her family have been evacuated from their home.


Another fire burns near Calistoga on both the Napa and Sonoma sides of the range that separates them, moving through Knight's Valley and Mark West areas. Kenwood on the Sonoma side has been evacuated.

North of Santa Rosa in Sonoma the Tubbs fire threatened as many as 20,000 acres before 7 am forcing the evacuation of two area hospitals as well as thousands of people. Homes and businesses have burned overnight.

Smaller fires have also erupted throughout Napa and Sonoma counties. The extent of damage and the number of evacuees is not yet clear as it all happened overnight. As the sun comes up fireplanes are now able to assist in the containment efforts and people are better able to respond to the situation.

Fires have also been reported in Mendocino and Lake Counties.