California Wildfires Prompt Mass Evacuations In Napa Valley

A thick cloud of black smoke rises from a burning junkyard in American Canyon on Sunday

Tim Donnelly is a former California State Assemblyman and Author, now on a book tour for his new book: Patriot Not Politician: Win or Go Homeless.

He called the estimates of destroyed structures very conservative.

"It was an inferno like you've never observed", Sonoma County inhabitant Marian Williams told the Associated Press. One Twitter user reported that her building was evacuated after a resident pulled the fire alarm due to the smell. Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jonathan Cox reported several injuries.

Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency shortly after 9 a.m. PDT today for Napa, Sonoma and Yuba Counties.

Mandatory evacuations are in place for several areas, including Porter Creek and the Petrified Forest.

The fires had stretched Sonoma and Napa counties firefighting resources to the breaking point.

Other fires have also prompted evacuations in Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Glen Ellen and other areas.

At least one person lost their life as the Redwood Complex Fire snatched up 4,500 acres in flames.

The National Weather Service said solid breeze blasts and low dampness have added to the out of control fires.




AccuWeather Meteorologist Jordan Root said dry and warm winds will continue to fan wildfires across the region before diminishing Monday evening. The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said hotels were evacuated and shelters were set up.

Centers for the evacuated have opened at Crosswalk Church, Napa Valley College Gym and the Napa County Fairgrounds, officials say.

Upwards of 300 firefighters are battling blazes in Napa County.

Emergency lines were inundated with callers reporting smoke, prompting officials to ask that the public "only use 911 if they see actual unattended flames, or are having another emergency".

The fires have been burning in northern Sonoma County since early Monday morning.

Sonoma County resident John Dean was driving home early Monday when "I looked over and saw a house on fire" along the road.

The Atlas Peak fire was the largest, quickly growing to more than 200 acres near Napa. "Winds will continue to gust between 35 and 45 miles per hour with locally stronger gusts up to 55 miles per hour in the highest mountains".

The wind-driven fires have created hazardous air in parts of both counties, by sending burning embers across a large area.

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