Firefighters work to save structures from a wildfire on Soda Canyon Road in Napa, California, on Monday, 9 October 2017. Photo: Noah Berger / The San Francisco Chronicle

By Peter Fimrite, Jill Tucker, and Demian Bulwa
9 October 2017

(The San Francisco Chronicle) – Several massive wildfires burned out of control in Napa and Sonoma counties early Monday, destroying an untold number of homes and businesses, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people and shutting down major roadways as firefighters sought to halt the advance of infernos that were driven by powerful winds.

There was no immediate estimate of the damage or the extent of injuries — nor an explanation for the sheer number of fires — but structures were burning in both counties, according to authorities and witnesses.

One blaze in and around northern Santa Rosa had burned at least 20,000 acres by 7 a.m., threatening shopping centers, schools and the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. Scores of homes appeared to have been lost in the Journey’s End Mobile Home Park on Mendocino Avenue, and the nearby Fountaingrove Inn burned down.

Residents in the area described fleeing for their lives in the middle of the night from the fire, in cars or on foot.

Two hospitals in Santa Rosa, those run by Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health, were evacuated. Power outages were widespread. People flocked to gas stations in cities that were safe from the conflagrations, to fuel up and buy water and other supplies. Evacuation centers were set up, then quickly filled, forcing more to open. [more]

Massive fires in Napa and Sonoma counties burn structures, force evacuations, close hospitals

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