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42,000-Acre Glass Fire Rages Through Already Scorched North Bay

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The raging fire in the North Bay has destroyed at least 80 residences since it began Sunday near St. Helena. The burn zone has since stretched across more than 42,000 acres in Napa and Solano counties, both areas already weary and damaged by fire seasons only increasing in intensity and destruction.

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In so many ways, this has been a year like no other. Added to the steaming heap of a deadly health crisis, economic collapse and democracy hanging by a thread, California is suffering from the worst fire season in history. Cal Fire reported Tuesday that “well over 3.8 million acres” — about 6,000 square miles — have burned in more than 8,100 wildfires since Jan. 1.

For context, the burned portion of California so far this year is nearly equal to the entire land area in the state of Hawaii. 

The rolling hills, riverbanks and vineyards of Napa and Sonoma counties can’t seem to catch a break. The area is ravaged year after year — neighborhoods like Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park barely rebuilt after the 2017 Tubbs Fire are dangerously close to being under threat again, and this isn’t the first time since. The Kincade Fire last year forced Coffey Park residents to evacuate and wonder if their homes would survive another yet another inferno. 

The Glass Fire evacuation map as of noon Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (Map courtesy of Sonoma County)

It’s now the Glass Fire wreaking havoc, all while embers are still hot from the LNU Lightning Complex fires that scorched more than 363,000 acres in Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo and Solano counties over the last month.

The incident was first reported just before 4 a.m. Sunday at North Fork Crystal Springs Road as a 20-acre fire. Fueled by warm, dry winds, the blaze grew to 800 acres in less than three hours.

Gov. Gavin Newsom Monday declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma due to the Glass Incident and in Shasta County amid the Zogg Fire, which has burned more than 40,000 acres — neither fire has reached any level of containment. East of the Zogg Fire, the Creek Fire near Paradise is still only 76 percent contained and has burned 308,995 acres of land in Plumas and Butte counties. Paradise itself was destroyed in the 2018 Camp Fire. 

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a Spare the Air alert now extended through Friday. This year has shattered records for the number of days in a row under Spare the Air alerts. There’s no mystery as to why that is if you’ve been outside over the past two months to see the orange skies and ash storms. Whole chunks of ash larger than a hand were seen falling Monday in areas like Santa Rosa.  

Up-to-date evacuation order information can be located on emergency office Nixle pages at: 

Evacuation centers for residents are open in Napa, Petaluma, Sonoma and Santa Rosa. Animal evacuation centers are also open in Napa and Sonoma counties. Evacuation center details can be accessed directly on the Cal Fire incident page.  

 

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.

1 Comment

  1. September 29, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    Does anyone know the cause of the Glass Fire, or was it just a freak accident due to the heat?