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Raging California wine country wildfires force evacuations

10 October, 2017, 00:30 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • A fire burns in Napa County late Sunday Oct. 8 2017

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.

After evacuating the house, which sits at the dead end of a one-lane road in rural Napa County, she and her family watched from a distance as a propane tank exploded and their home's roof caught fire.

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

The Atlas Fire, initially reported at 9:20 p.m. Sunday, had burned between 8,000 to 12,000 acres south of Lake Berryessa and off of Atlas Peak Road, according to Cal Fire.

The only positive news is that fire officials have said that the high winds of last night have died down for the time being, but they are expected to kick up again around sundown, meaning that fast containment is vital.

"Everybody in Sonoma County is spread out battling these flames, however they don't have enough assets to deal with something like this", Windsor Fire Chief Jack Piccinni told the Associated Press before Monday. Community centers, the Sonoma County Fairgrounds and other local centers were opened for evacuees.

The state of emergency extends to Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties, where thousands of homes and other structures have already burned or are threatened.

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In video posted on Twitter specialists were seen wheeling a patient in a healing center bed out of Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Santa Rosa to security. Wind was gusting in the areas up to 50 miles per hour.

Highway 37 has reopened in both directions between Novato and Vallejo after being closed early Monday morning because of a vegetation fire, California Highway Patrol officials said. Mandatory evacuations are in place for Partrick Rd in Napa County. "There was smoke all over the area". Mandatory evacuations are in effect in several areas and almost 20 shelters have opened from Cloverdale to Petaluma and from Guerneville to Sonoma.

"I looked over and saw a house on fire", he said.

"Very, very volatile fire conditions", McLean said.

The Napa Valley Register reported that authorities have been going to homes north of Silverado Resort asking residents to leave.

San Francisco authorities issued an air quality alert due to smoke from the blazes, warning residents to close windows, limit outdoor activities and keep pets inside.

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