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Governor declares state of emergency as Zogg and Glass wildfires race through California


California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Monday night after wildfires tore through Napa, Sonoma and Shasta counties, killing at least three people and forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate.

The fast moving Zogg Fire, burning near Redding, has scorched more than 30,000 acres since igniting Sunday afternoon. Newsom cautioned that it may converge with the nearby August Complex Fire, already the largest in California’s history.

The cause of the Zogg Fire has not yet been determined, according to an update from CalFire Shasta Trinity Unit (SHU) late Monday night.

Three people have died as a result of the wildfire, Shasta County Sheriff-Coroner Eric Magrini said at a news conference on Monday. Details of the deaths were not provided.

The blaze also has destroyed 146 structures and threatens another 1,538, according to the update. It is 0% contained.

The Zogg Fire is one of two fast-moving fires in northern California that sparked on Sunday.

Fire moving at ‘dangerous rate of spread’

The Glass Fire, which ignited in Napa County and expanded into Sonoma County at a “dangerous rate of spread,” has grown to 36,236 acres, CalFire said in an update.

It has destroyed 113 structures, damaged two and is threatening 8,543 others, according to CalFire. Nearly 1,500 fire personnel are battling the blaze.

The Glass Fire has sent at least 21 people to the hospital for burns or respiratory issues.

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital has treated two people for burn injuries and seven others with respiratory issues, according to St. Joseph Health system. At Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, 12 people were treated for issues related to smoke-inhalation and heat exhaustion.

Evacuation center full as 70,000 flee

More than 70,000 people have been ordered to evacuate in Sonoma and Napa counties as hot, dry winds pushed flames from the Glass Fire into neighborhoods and vineyards, consuming homes and other structures.

One of three shelters for those fleeing the Glass Fire, the Sonoma Marin Fairground, reached capacity early Monday, CNN affiliate KGO reported.

Evacuees told KGO they didn’t know if their homes were destroyed by the fast-moving flames.

“Don’t know … all we know is it jumped over Highway 12 over into Oakmont,” Vallie and Tony, who did not give their last names, told the affiliate. “We just heard more and more sirens.”

Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds CEO Allison Keaney said the fairground was transformed from a Covid-19 testing site to a shelter overnight, KGO reported.

“People have different needs,” Keaney told the affiliate. “We have automobiles, a car camping area, RV’s another place — we’re just trying to make it accessible for everyone once they arrive here.”

She said that about 160 evacuees from a senior living facility in Santa Rosa are temporarily staying inside several buildings spaced 8 feet apart, KGO reported.

Ed Wayne told the affiliate that he came to the evacuation shelter to help out.

People need help right now,” he said through tears, KGO reported. “Our community needs us.”

Kathy Guthormsen said she was also worried about her community after hearing her friends evacuated from the Santa Rosa Bird Rescue Center, according to KGO.

“Several of them had to leave their homes in the middle of the night,” she told the affiliate.

When asked if she was scared, Guthormsen told KGO “Yes … as they say you hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”

Winery damaged in fire

Late Monday night, flames from the Glass Fire forced the mandatory evacuation of the entire city of Calistoga, in Napa Valley.

“At this time there has been no damage or loss within the city limits but significant damage has occurred in the surrounding area,” the city said in a news release.

At least one winery in the city has already been damaged by the fire, CNN affiliate KGO reported.

KGO spoke with Dario Sattui, owner of Castello di Amorosa Winery in Calistoga, which was burned in the blaze.

Sattui told the affiliate his employees used hoses to try to put out the flames but they still lost part of the winery, which continues to be threatened by the Glass fire.

“The lab is gone, offices are gone, the wine was destroyed,” Sattui told KGO.

“The fire is 150 yards from here. I’m nervous, I know firefighters are stretched thin working their butts off. I wish they could have saved the warehouse,” Sattui said, according to the affiliate.

29 killed in California wildfires fueled by hot weather

The Zogg and Glass fires are among at least 22 large, actively burning fires in the state that has seen months of dry, hot weather fueling flames, according to the National Fire Interagency Center.

Twenty-nine people have died in the blazes since the fire season intensified on August 15, according to a tally by CNN.

As of Tuesday morning, more than 3.7 million acres have burned in 8,136 fire incidents in California this year, CalFire said.

A red flag warning and a heat advisory both expired Monday night, but low humidity and winds are expected to continue across the North Bay Area, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures will stick around the 90s in most of the region Tuesday, NWS said in a tweet.

Governor requesting federal assistance

In addition to the state of emergency declaration Monday, Newsom also requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to help with response and recovery for Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, San Bernardino, San Diego and Siskiyou counties.

The governor said at a news conference that the state would be enacting changes to help prevent and battle fires.

Details are expected in the coming weeks, but Newsom said they will include predictive fire analysis, which will allow for pre-positioning firefighting equipment and teams based on weather patterns, infrared technology, more cameras, and new equipment for both air suppression and traditional ground firefighting. Much of that new equipment has been procured, but not yet delivered, the governor said.

He also said a new partnership between the state and the federal government is expected to provide more funding and cooperation in management of the vast federal wildland in California. “There’s a lot of progress. We are not just standing still. We’re not just victims of fate,” Newsom said. “We want to shape this future.”


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