ALEXANDER VALLEY, Calif. (KRON) – An 1800’s-era winery, Soda Rock, smoldered in blackened ruins. Thirty feet away from the winery’s dramatic destruction, a delicate chandelier glimmered and sparkled from sunlight shining through the wooden walls of a barn. Under the hanging chandelier, white chairs remained neatly lined up in rows for an anticipated wedding.
The fragile, historic barn on Chalk Hill Road was untouched by flames that were towering 100-feet-high Sunday night.
It is one of several sentimental wedding sites tucked within Alexander Valley vineyards were spared from the Kincade Fire. These special places were saved by firefighters who endured grim conditions, especially on the night of Oct. 27, when embers flew for miles and caused the Kincade Fire to grew into California’s largest wildfire of 2019.
Nearby, hummingbirds were feeding from red flowers blooming around a mission-style chapel at Chalk Hill Estates. The chapel, used to host weddings for couples from all over the world seeking an idyllic California wine country setting, was also saved by the heroic firefight.
A cottage used to host honeymooners was destroyed and the fire scorched large patches of wildland overlooking sweeping vistas of the valley. But the estate’s sprawling winery, vineyard, horse stables, gardens, and mansions emerged from the smoke unscathed.
Since igniting one week ago, the Kincade Fire reduced nearly 200 structures to rubble.
Fire crews are focused on doing everything they can to push the blaze away from inhabited areas, including neighborhoods where the Tubbs Fire wrecked havoc on hundreds of homes in October of 2017. Firefighters have so far succeeded in keeping the blaze from becoming anything like another Tubbs tragedy.
According to CalFire, containment doubled overnight into Wednesday morning and the fire’s size remains at nearly 77,000 acres.