Northern California Fire Grows And Could Take “Weeks, If Not Months” To Fully Extinguish The Flames

FIRE ALERT IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: 185,000 residents evacuated Credit: Shutterstock

Northern California fire grows to 74,300 acres as firefighters battle shifting winds

Shifting winds and dry air frustrated efforts yesterday (Monday) to beat back the massive Kincade Fire that’s cutting a destructive path through Northern California’s wine country. The fire has prompted the evacuations of nearly 200,000 people as it threatens the residents of Santa Rosa

By last night (Monday), the blaze had engulfed more than 74,300 acres in Sonoma County—an area larger than the city of Sacramento—up from 66,200 acres earlier in the day.

Fire officials said they had contained just 15 percent of the blaze which could take “weeks if not months” to be fully extinguished.

The Kincade fire first erupted last Wednesday but doubled in size on Sunday, fuelled by extreme wind conditions that saw gusts reaching over 100mph in some mountainous peaks. Authorities expanded evacuations throughout the week, extending them again as the fire spread into the edges of the small towns of Windsor and Healdsburg. By Sunday evening, more than 185,000 people had been ordered to leave their homes, while the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) utility cut power to millions of people in an effort to prevent its wind-damaged equipment from sparking further blazes.

For many Sonoma county residents, Sunday’s horror came in its unsettling similarity to the devastating 2017 North Bay firestorm that killed 44 people, destroyed thousands of homes and burned roughly 245,000 acres.

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Cristina Hodgson

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