California burning: Historic fires break out from Sonoma to SoCal

California burning: Historic fires break out from Sonoma to SoCalWildfires broke out Sunday night and Monday in California's prized wine country, advancing with stunning, and potentially deadly, speed across the dry and gusty Napa and Sonoma Valleys.  A total of 14 fires in northern California had destroyed about 1,500 structures as of Monday morning, local time, putting this event as among the most destructive in state history. At least one death has been reported, along with an unknown number of injuries, based on local media reports. Winds gusting to 55 miles per hour fanned the flames in Napa and Sonoma County overnight. CalFire Battalion Chief Jonathan Cox told KTVU on Monday that the Tubbs Fire, located between Santa Rosa and Calistoga, "exploded" in size overnight, from 200 to 20,000 acres.  SEE ALSO: How to prepare for natural disasters “It was an inferno like you’ve never seen before,” Marian Williams, who escaped the Tubbs Fire before dawn near the town of Kenwood, told the
Associated Press.  “Trees were on fire like torches,” she said. During the day on Monday, other destructive fires broke out in southern California, as well. Aerial video footage from KTVU showed numerous homes burning or destroyed in Santa Rosa. Entire neighborhoods, at least two hospitals, and senior centers in northwestern Santa Rosa were reportedly evacuated. As Windsor Fire Chief Jack Piccinini told the publication, Sonoma County is struggling due to a lack of resources needed to fight fires of this magnitude. Neighboring counties have been sending equipment and crews to help fight the blazes.  Marin County, for example, sent 22 fire engines, along with 5 ambulances, as well as numerous crews to assist the effort.  This fire is horrific. Cars, buildings destroyed. Untold homes pic.twitter.com/XDl1UhtJY3 — Jill Tucker (@jilltucker) October 9, 2017 "Everyone in Sonoma County is spread out fighting these fires, but they don't have enough resources to handle something like this. The only thing we can do is hope the wind will come down," Piccinini told the paper
. The rapid speed of these fires raises the potential for casualties, given that residents had little time to flee the flames. The Santa Rosa Fire Department tweeted that the fire had grown to 20,000 acres — which is astonishing considering the fires broke out mere hours before. The #TubbsFire is now at 20,000 acres. — SantaRosaFire (@SantaRosaFire) October 9, 2017 20,000+ acres burnt in a matter of hours due to 50+ mph wind gusts and <15% humidity. @CAL_FIRE reps saying the rate of spread is unheard of — Sean Wince  (@SeanWince) October 9, 2017 Images and video surfacing on social media show just how extensive the damage is already, and how smoke can be seen from surrounding areas — all the way into downtown San Francisco. saw numerous ambulances enroute north 101 and SF is completely hazed in ash #napafire pic.twitter.com/LBoCrmSF8x — Micheal Benedict (@micheal) October 9, 2017 Mobile home park in Santa Rosa is gone. Cal fire says they can confirm civilian injuries. Varying degrees.#ABC7now pic.twitter.com/pnPAve2FzX — Amy Hollyfield (@amyhollyfield) October 9, 2017 Fire that crossed from Napa to Sonoma has burned homes along Highway 12 just west of County line. @CBSSF #napafires pic.twitter.com/zNl6XWuMlf — Wilson Walker (@Wilson_Walker) October 9, 2017 Highway 12, Sonoma County – just west of county line. #napafires @CBSSF pic.twitter.com/vJKzIN8jTB — Wilson Walker (@Wilson_Walker) October 9, 2017 Napa Road, just off Highway 12 in Sonoma County. Quite a few homes lost in this area. #napafires pic.twitter.com/4Z4ZMgT28B — Wilson Walker (@Wilson_Walker) October 9, 2017 According to
The Los Angeles Times, over 300 firefighters are battling three major fires burning in Napa County, along with some additional smaller fires in the area. As of Monday morning, much of northern California is under Red Flag Warning, which means critical fire weather conditions — such as wind, humidity, and temperature — are present that would ensure that any fire that breaks out could spread rapidly and become severe.  Got evacuated from Glen Allen. 101 is blocked so take 80E to get to SF. Thick smoke, gusty winds for Napa #napafires pic.twitter.com/zgCFUawDXY — Ayesha Barenblat (@abarenblat) October 9, 2017 Strong images out of Santa Rosa, CA, where a hospital is being evacuated due to growing #wildfire. Photo by CNN affiliate @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/LIdPtKggp3 — Andrea Butera (@AndreaButera) October 9, 2017 Here is a picture I took this morning. Nurses evacuating an ICU patient. #SantaRosa #fire #BreakingNews @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/rKewjZnE1e — Stefan (@Stefanstifter) October 9, 2017 Another image of the fire crawling up the back on Sonoma Raceway pic.twitter.com/DY960PtwM2 — Ken Shuman (@sanphrancisco) October 9, 2017 #NapaCounty fire seen from our plane while flying into SFO tonight. Prayers for the firefighters out there fighting this. #napafire pic.twitter.com/Ic0DIZ24jk — Janice Abdalla (@Babbles28) October 9, 2017 #GOES16 satellite update: around 3 am Monday morning. Satellite continues to show multiple wild fires across the North Bay, and a new fire start has been detected just to the east of Cloverdale. Strong and gusty northeast winds will continue through at least mid morning. #cawx pic.twitter.com/jufkkU38wZ — NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) October 9, 2017 According to National Weather Service forecast office in Sacramento, winds in the vicinity o are currently reaching up to 55 mph, and daytime humidity levels are between 7 and 19 percent, so any fires that spark are expected to spread quickly.  A record wet winter has been followed by much drier-than-average conditions in this region during the past three months. This means that vegetation that grew during the wet period is now extremely dry, providing plenty of fuel for the flames.  Past 90 days: Swath of northern #California <25% normal rainfall. Vegetation growth after record 2016/17 WY rains now dying. Lots of fuel. pic.twitter.com/6dN05R0QG1 — Steve Bowen (@SteveBowenWx) October 9, 2017 Image: NWS San Francisco Canyon Fire 2Anaheim HillsSouth of the 91Along the 241 Toll Road @foxla pic.twitter.com/mJTcGp0zod — Rick Dickert (@RICKatFOX) October 9, 2017 Due to Santa Ana winds there's also a critical fire danger in areas of southern California. Wildfires broke out Monday in Anaheim, forcing evacuations of entire neighborhoods.  October has long been associated with California's worst wildfires, particularly in southern California, where Santa Ana winds tend to develop more frequently than at other times of year. This is also the end of the dry season in the state, when vegetation tends to be most ready to ignite. Larger-scale trends are amplifying wildfire risks across the West, as well. We're building more in areas that border forested lands where fires are commonplace, for example.  Global warming is also helping to make larger fires more common across the West in particular, as spring snow cover melts earlier, and forests dry out more than they used to during the dry season. In the West, the 2017 wildfire season has been unusually severe, with 8.5 million acres burned to date, compared to the 10-year average of about 6 million by this time. Canada has also had an unusually severe wildfire season, with numerous large blazes torching millions of acres in British Columbia and Alberta, in particular. WATCH: The truth about detoxes and cleanses



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