World Events

Glass fire quadruples in size, 80 Napa Valley homes burn

At least 80 homes have been destroyed in Napa and Sonoma counties as the Glass fire continues to rampage through California’s wine country.

The blaze had burned 42,560 acres as of Tuesday — nearly quadruple its size since Monday morning — and there is still no containment, according to Erick Hernandez, a public information officer with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

So far, Hernandez said, crews have confirmed that the fire destroyed 52 residences in Napa County and 28 others in Sonoma County.

Figures on how many commercial structures have been damaged or destroyed were not available Tuesday morning, he said.

The fire burned rapidly Sunday through Napa Valley’s Silverado Trail, raising concerns about the fate of the area’s famed wineries.

Napa and Sonoma counties are home to more than 800 wineries, according to their tourism associations, and many are family-owned.

One building that was lost was the distinctive stone structure at the Chateau Boswell Winery, which marked its 40th anniversary last year.

Officials said Monday evening that at least eight wineries were damaged.

Although no injuries have been officially confirmed, tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee from the fire.

Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Spencer Crum said some 68,000 residents have been ordered to leave.

Large swaths of Santa Rosa remain under mandatory evacuation orders, as does the entire city of Calistoga, a community of about 5,000 people northwest of Napa.

Evacuations also have been issued for the Summerfield and Spring Lake areas, according to the Santa Rosa Police Department, along with areas covering Trione-Annadel State Park and the area to the south, as well as north of Bennett Valley Road, west of Savannah Trail and east and south of the Santa Rosa city limits.

Evacuation orders also are in place for the hills on both sides of the northern Napa Valley, flanking Calistoga and the town of St. Helena, and parts of the east side of the Silverado Trail.

Officials have urged residents to comply with those directives — saying some of those who have refused to leave had to be rescued later from their homes, placing further strain on law enforcement and public safety personnel who are already worn thin by California’s historic fire season.

“The dynamics of climate change, the dynamics as it relates to the lack of forest management over the last century, have created … real concern as it relates to the spread of these wildfires in ferocious ways,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.

Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa and Sonoma counties — as well as Shasta County, where the Zogg fire has burned more than 40,000 acres and killed three people.

The governor has also requested a disaster declaration from the federal government, which would bring increased aid to Los Angeles, Fresno, Madera, Mendocino, San Bernardino, San Diego and Siskiyou counties.

The Glass fire is the latest to besiege California’s wildfire-weary wine country.

Dozens of people were killed and more than 9,000 structures were lost in 2017, when fires swept through Santa Rosa and surrounding communities. Last year, the Kincade fire menaced the region for weeks, putting nearly 100,000 people under evacuation orders. More than 50% of Lake County to the north of Santa Rosa has burned in the last decade.

For many who call the region home, the latest fire carries with it an unwelcome wave of memories: the terror of having to evacuate, the uncertainty of not knowing whether their homes were spared from the flames.

“The Tubbs trauma is real,” said Rincon Valley resident Randi Cornwall, referring to the 2017 fire that devastated the region. “When you have seen fire move fast before, you know to get the hell out before traffic backs up and fire is licking at your cars.”

Some, however, were hesitant to flee. Monday morning, Ben Illia stood in the front yard of the gray ranch house where he had grown up. He was watering down the landscape with a hose.

A veteran of the Tubbs fire, he had no plans to leave unless “I see flames coming over the hill,” he said.

Times staff writers Maura Dolan, Marisa Gerber, Joseph Serna, Matthew Ormseth and Rong-Gong Lin II contributed to this report.

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