GEYSERVILLE (KRON) – A wildfire raging in wine country continues to grow and firefighters are now desperate to control it in advance of heavy winds forecast for Saturday.
CAL Fire said the Kincade Fire has burned more than 25,455 acres and is 10% contained.
The blaze has destroyed at least 49 structures, with 21 of those being homes.
A flareup in the fire could be seen in Geyserville Friday night, bringing large plumes of smoke over parts of Sonoma County.
CAL FIRE said late Friday that the smoke is now being investigated.
The agency said its too early to speculate — but did confirm they sent additional firefighters and responders toward the plume.
The smoke was seen around 4:30 p.m. from Pine Flat Road near Geyserville as winds began to pick up slightly.
The fire first broke out at 9:47 p.m. Wednesday night near the Geysers Geothermal Plant, according to CAL Fire.
The entire town of Geyserville is under a mandatory evacuation order due to the wildfire driven by strong winds.
There have been no reports of missing persons or fatalities so far.
The unincorporated area north of Healdsburg is under an evacuation warning.
Residents should be prepared to leave, according to CAL Fire.
Significant resources from across the region are responding, including 6 hand crews, 2 water tenders, 53 engines, 3 dozers and 8 air tankers.
Twice over the past two weeks, PG&E has cut power to large areas of Northern and Central California to reduce the risk of its equipment sparking fires. Nearly 2 million people lost electricity earlier this month, and then as many as a half-million this week.
But PG&E’s decision to shut down distribution lines but not long-distance transmission lines may have backfired this time when the Kincade Fire erupted.
PG&E said a live, 230,000-volt transmission line near Geyserville had malfunctioned minutes before the fire erupted Wednesday night, and a broken “jumper” wire was found on a transmission tower.
PG&E CEO Bill Johnson said it was too soon to say whether the faulty equipment sparked the fire. He said the tower had been inspected four times in the past two years and appeared to have been in excellent condition.
But PG&E stock plummeted 31 percent on the news. And the blaze could mean wider blackouts ahead.
Evacuation Orders & Warnings
Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick says about 2,000 people are under evacuation orders due to the Kincade Fire.
An estimated 1,700 people are in the evacuation warning areas.
Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for the following areas:
- Entire town of Geyserville
- Cloverdale Geysers Rd
- Geysers Rd
- Red Winery Rd
- Alexander Mountain Rd
- Pine Flat Rd
- All roads east of Hwy 128 to Geyserville
Additional evacuation orders were issued by CAL FIRE Friday around 10:45 p.m. for areas of Sonoma County, effective immediately.
- Ida Clayton Road
- North to Highland Ranch Road at Campbell Road
- East of the 101 between Asti Road and Alexander Valley Road to the Mendocino and Lake County Line
- Lakeview Road and extending South along the Lake and Sonoma County Line to Ida Clayton Road
An evacuation warning remains in effect for the area north of Healdsburg – that means be prepared for an evacuation.
An evacuation warning is also in effect in Lake County at Cobb Mountain due to the Kincade Fire, as of 8:40 p.m. Friday.
Residents in the following communities are under the warning:
- Adams Springs
- Whispering Pines
- Gifford Springs
- Anderson Springs
- Ford Flat Road
- Socrates Mine Road
Residents in those areas are advised to plan ahead and prepare.
The following evacuation centers have been set up to assist those affected by the fire:
- Healdsburg Community Center – 1557 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg CA 95448 (people and small animals with parking for livestock trailers)
- Sonoma County Fairgrounds – 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa (large animals only)
- Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building – 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa (people and small animals)
- Windsor High School – 8695 Windsor Road, Windsor (people and small animals)
- Hwy 128 & Geyserville Ave
- Pine Flat Rd & Red Winery Rd
- Geysers Rd & Red Winery Rd
- Hwy 128 & Moody Ln
- Hwy 128 & Geysers Rd
- Geysers Rd & River Rd
- Hwy 128 & Alexander Valley Rd
- Hwy 128 & Pine Flat Rd
- Hwy 128 & Railroad Ave
- Lytton Station Rd & Lytton Springs Rd
- Healdsburg Ave & Alexander Valley Rd
- Geyserville Unified School District
- Alexander Valley School District
- Kashia School District
- Horicon School District
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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