SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday issued an emergency proclamation for Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties after wildfires damaged infrastructure, threatened homes and spurred evacuations.
More Coverage: Wildfires rage in Sonoma, Napa counties
Firefighters are facing difficulties battling three fast-moving wildfires north of Napa, California, totaling at least 44,000 acres as of early Monday, officials said. Complicating efforts are high winds, low humidity and a dearth of resources, said Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann.
“As of right now, with these conditions, we can’t get in front of this fire and do anything about the forward progress,” he said, adding that resources from across California should begin arriving in the area later Monday.
The fires spread across roads and burned several structures, local officials told CNN. Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jonathan Cox reported several injuries.
“This fire is explosive,” Cox said.
The National Weather Service in San Francisco on Sunday issued a “red flag warning” for the Bay Area because of current or impending critical fire weather conditions. The warning cited dry, “windy locations through the Napa Valley and northern Sonoma County valleys.” Gusts ranging from 35 mph to more than 60 mph were recorded. There were a few hurricane-force gusts of more than 74 mph.
“Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly,” the warning said.
Forecasters said winds will remain strong on Monday morning but are expected to ease by midday. But the warning will likely remain in effect because of the warm and dry conditions and the presence of wildfires.
The blazes engulfed acreage in Sonoma and Napa counties as responders worked through the night to fight the fires. KPIX said the blazes had stretched local firefighting resources, and calls were out for assistance.
In Sonoma County, Santa Rosa’s city manager declared the fires a local emergency. News footage showed Kaiser Permanente Hospital patients wheeled out on stretchers.
The city also ordered evacuations in several neighborhoods. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said hotels were evacuated and shelters were set up. The county is working to set up shelters at fairgrounds to house animals. In Napa County, evacuations were underway as firefighters battled blazes. There were also fires in Lake and Mendecino counties.
Cal Fire listed updated acreages for a few of the many blazes, including Tubbs Fire in Napa County, 20,000 acres; Altas Fire in Napa County, 5,000 acres; and the Redwood Fire in Mendocino County, 4,500 acres.