Some Containment of Two Massive Wine Country Fires, but Threats Remain
Update as of 12:07 P.M. PST
Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino residents remain apprehensive as fires throughout the area continue to rage, and winds are forecasted to rise in strength later today. A total of seventeen different fires have burned over 200,000 acres since they began Sunday night, and have destroyed over 3,500 homes and businesses so far.
There’s some good news though: the enormous Tubbs Fire, which destroyed parts of Santa Rosa and currently threatens the town of Calistoga, is now 25 percent contained. The even larger Atlas Fire, on the eastern side of Napa Valley, is 27 percent contained—a substantial gain from yesterday.
Over 25,000 residents have now been displaced from their homes by the fires, and the death toll has risen to 17, with several hundred people still missing.
These are by far the worst fires even seen in wine country. Yet vintners, even in the worst hit areas, continue to hold out hope. Jimmy Hayes of Napa Valley’s historic Mayacamas Winery, which sits atop Mount Veeder amidst the Nuns Fire blaze, said last night, “This is all unfolding in real time—nothing’s resolved. But we have pictures from a press photographer who was up near the winery and from what we can tell, miraculously, it looks like the winery structures are still standing. But ten feet away, the residence on the property was completely burned to the ground—smoldering ashes. We’re lucky that the winery building was built of two-foot-thick stone on all sides. But the fire on Mt. Veeder is still very active—we’re not out of the woods by any means.”
And as additional information suggests that the Rutherford and Oakville regions may now be under threat, it’s safe to say that no one in Napa Valley is.