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Historic Kincade Firestorm Descends Upon Sonoma County, California

Updated on October 27, 2019
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Just Pray for Divine Intervention

Having lived in this wine county area for over 20 years, there has never been such historic firestorms as the Tubbs fire in 2017 and now Kincade. Both are true satanic-like infernos with historic winds reaching up to 80 mph (i.e., hurricane strength) that erratically spread the embers across the dry, parched, canyons and forests that dot this area, not to mention the wine country that millions visit every year.

With the Tubbs firestorm, the fault was with the utility company (PGE) transmission lines and transformers that ignited it at the wrong time. PGE, somehow survived a bankruptcy, and prior to the latest firestorm, Kincade, had been shutting off power randomly across the SF Bay Area, angering millions of people. That evidently did no good, because the Kincade fire was most likely started by a PGE transformer blowing up in a remote area and PGE confirms that their monitoring systems detected such.

The Gates of Hell

In just a few days, this isolated fire has turned into Satan's Inferno disrupting most of Sonoma County as the fire has moved within a two miles of Geyserville and within five miles of Healdsburg, known for its vintage wineries on the Russian River. With the winds gusting to 80 mph, the two small towns totaling around 20,000, were told to evacuate. Local authorities acting in an overly cautious manner, then told Windsor (over 40,000) to evacuate. The fire, so far, still remains a considerable distance. Santa Rosa (150,000) is in a warning state, but the fire is even further away. Even more remote places further away from the fire were told to evacuate in an over abundance of caution because nobody really knows how the winds will carve the firestorm's path.

Highway 101 is the main corridor from SF northward through this area, and the road remains bumper to bumper traffic with fleeing people. The free shelters filled up within hours, leaving it to handful of hotels to accommodate. With over 100,000 evacuees heading south, the horror simply magnifies. NASA is providing thermal satellite imaging to help track the direction of where the embers create spot fires and it seems to indicate it is heading towards Healdsburg and Robert Louis Steven State Park.

With only so many of thousands of firefighters able to be deployed, the strategy is to defend the towns it threatens directly and let the fire burn in the remote areas unabated until it does threaten. There are plenty of open hilly, wooded, areas in the county.

All of California, by October, is a tinder box. The last real rains ended in April and since then, everything is tinder dry and ignited instantly. Some forecasts indicate that Geyserville and Healdsburg could be razed by this fire. These recent firestorm episodes only have increased due to climate change, something Trump knows nothing about and are happening more frequently.

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    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      5 months ago

      These fires can be so frightening and often have tragic consequences. I agree that this is a result of climate change and surely Trump cannot ignore the consequences. I am glad things are returning to normal, although it may take some time. Keep safe, I am thinking of you all from across the pond.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      5 months ago

      As things return to normal, many were without power for many days. It will be sometime before businesses and schools reopen not to mention the 180,000 evacuees coming home.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      5 months ago

      Unless it flares up again, the worst should be over. The fire did reach the eastern part of Windsor and moved south towards Santa Rosa, but never threatened it as happened in 2017 in the Tubbs fire. The mass evacuations involving 180,000 was a bit overkill because towns on the coast some 40 miles away were evacuated. Now, the utilities have remained off for many parts of the region which further make life difficult. Evacuation orders still continue into Tuesday.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      5 months ago

      We are hearing about these horrendous fires on our news at the moment and my heart goes out to you. Having lived in Australia for many years I used to dread the bush fires which can be so devastating. Hopefully they can be brought under control and people are safe.

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