Update at 8:45 p.m.: Two more people have died in the deadly Northern California fires. The latest victims are from the Tubbs Fire burning in Sonoma County, which was announced tonight by sheriff’s officials. That raises the death toll to 23.
Update at 2:10 p.m.: At least 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed since the Northern California wine country fires started Sunday, making them the third deadliest and most destructive blazes in state history. Nearly 88,000 acres are burning in the six biggest fires that include the Napa/Solano counties’ Atlas Fire now being reported as over 42,000 and the Napa Tubbs Fire which is now 30,000. There are literally hundreds of reported missing people due to communication issue.
Original post at 12:20 p.m.: CAL Fire’s Chief Ken Pimlot reports that the number of deaths directly related to wildfires this week in Northern California has increased to 21.
He states that unfortunately firefighters are again being met by very heavy winds and dry conditions in the greater wine country region around Sonoma and Napa counties. During a press conference today from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Operation Center, Pimlot noted that the 22 active fires have burned 170,000 acres this week, and with the current conditions, he is concerned that several of the fires will begin to merge together. The largest incident is the Atlas Fire, in Napa and Solano counties, which has burned over 42,000 acres, followed by the Tubbs Fire, in Napa County, which has burned 28,000 acres.
There are 8,000 firefighters assigned to the various fires, 73 helicopters, 30 air tankers and 550 engines. Additional resources have been requested from neighboring states.
Pimlot urged, “We’re not out of the woods yet, and we won’t be out of the woods for a number of days.”
Governor Jerry Brown was also on hand at the press conference, and stated, “With a warming climate and dry weather and reducing moisture, these types of catastrophes have happened, and they will continue to happen. We have to be prepared to do everything we can to mitigate. It is going to cost a lot of money…We have to get ready to deal with this situation, and then prepare for others that will follow in the years to come.”
Calfire’s Active Fire Map is here.