SANTA ROSA, Calif. (CBSNewYork/CBS SF/ — Firefighters were scrambling Monday to get control over flames burning homes and businesses across California wine country, and at least 10 people were confirmed dead.

As CBS News’ Danielle Nottingham reported, at least 15 separate fires were raging Monday and hundreds of buildings have burned. As CBS San Francisco reported, Cal Fire said the wiildfires were burning more than 57,000 acres as of 12:30 p.m. local time Monday – in Napa, Sonoma, Yuba, Butte, Nevada, Calaveras and Mendocino counties.


KPIX-TV, CBS5 in San Francisco reported that the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said seven people were killed in Sonoma County. Cal Fire said people were killed in Napa County and at least one person was killed in Mendocino County,

Fire officials said at least 20,000 people had been evacuated as of late Monday afternoon.

California Highway Patrol officials said their Golden Gate Division Air Operations helicopter crews had rescued 42 people in the various fires burning in the North Bay from late Sunday night to Monday.

PHOTOS: California Wine Country Wildfires

The highway patrol Facebook page said those saved ranged in age from 5 to 91 years old, including a man who waited at the scene for a second CHP helicopter to ensure his wife and 5-year-old child had a spot in the first helicopter on the scene, CBS San Francisco reported.

California Gov. Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency as a result of the fires burning in Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties.

Two hospitals in Santa Rosa were evacuated — the Kaiser Permanente Hospital and Sutter Hospital. Much of the Journey’s End mobile home park behind Kaiser hospital had been turned to ashes and the Fountain Grove Inn and Hotel had burned to the ground.

Most of the structures burned were in Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties, Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said.

Among the buildings that burned was a Hilton Hotel in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, which went up in flames as reporters watched.

Glass shattered as parts of the hotel building fell and collapsed, and the roof remained engulfed in flames amid gutted rooms.

House after house was decimated in Santa Rosa. Authorities say gusty winds and low humidity helped the flames spread quickly.

“It came in hard. It was windy, very dry wind, and it was taxing for the entire city,” said Santa Rosa Fire Chief Tony Gossner.

A least one winery was also destroyed by fire, CBS San Francisco reported.

Don Ford of KPIX 5 visited the Signorello Estate winery on Silverado Trail in southeastern Napa Valley. The winery’s main building and tasting room were completely reduced to rubble. The winery building was a total loss, but the actual vineyard was not damaged, CBS San Francisco reported.

There were also reports of damage at several other wineries.

Winemakers across the region were struggling to check on their wineries amid multiple road closure, CBS San Francisco reported. In Napa, harvest is in full swing, meaning that any wineries that had structures burn may have lost this year’s grapes.

Meanwhile, people were scrambling to save their homes Monday.

“Panic stricken,” said homeowner Wirt Cook. “It’s so scary, and we’ve got to watch for embers.”

Cook’s home was spared, but his neighbors were not so lucky.

“It’s a great neighborhood; great neighbors,” he said, “but it’s tough.”

One man had just enough time to rescue a picture of his grandparents before fleeing his home in Santa Rosa.

“The fire just jumped,” he said. “One house would go, then another one. The embers and the wind was the difference.”

The fires started overnight in several locations Napa and Sonoma counties.

Gusts of up to 70 mph were fanning the flames. High temperatures and low humidity all added up to perfect conditions for wildfires.

“There were separate fires that started,” said Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann. “The causes all under investigation, so I have no idea what caused these fires.”

In Napa, residents also scrambled to safety with little warning.

“The fireman was right there. He said, ‘You have to go right now,’” said Napa County evacuee Marlene Rosenberg. “So we left with what we had and we took the dog and that’s it.”

The rapidly moving Atlas Peak fire was on of the most prominent — visible throughout Napa Valley and as it draped over the region Sunday night.

Authorities said the blaze quickly moved toward the Silverado Trail — an area dotted with homes and wineries. Officials said the Silverado Country Club — site of this week’s PGA Tour tournament — was evacuated. An evacuee told KPIX 5 that the 12th hole at the famed golf course had been damaged by flames.

Flames were also burning near the Domaine Carneros winery.

Fire officials said with the fire moving so fast, crews were saving lives first before homes and businesses.

“Very conservative estimates say over 1,500 homes and commercial facilities have been destroyed,” said Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott.

A curfew was put in place in Santa Rosa Monday night amid concerns about looting.

As the fires burned, a large plume of smoke from the fire drifted as far south as San Francisco and the East Bay, where residents reported the strong smell of smoke in the air, CBS San Francisco reported.

One resident posted video to Twitter early Monday showed smoke and ash falling in San Francisco’s Sunset District, nearly 50 miles away from Napa.

The smell of smoke was even reported from as far away as San Jose, which is about 70 miles from Napa and 90 miles from Santa Rosa, CBS San Francisco reported.

As day broke, Bay Area residents snapped pictures of the haze.

For longtime Napa Valley residents, the massive fire rekindled memories of the 1981 Atlas Peak wildfire, CBS San Francisco reported. In that blaze, 23,000 acres were burned, $36 million was done in damage, 65 structures were destroyed and 11 people were injured.

Meanwhile in Southern California, several homes were also destroyed, more than 1,000 more were evacuated and 5,000 structures were threatened in a massive brush fire in Anaheim. That fire had grown to nearly 5,000 acres late Monday.


The Anaheim fire broke out 9:45 a.m. local time near the Riverside Freeway and Gypsum Canyon Road in Anaheim Hills, according to Orange County, California Fire Authority Capt. Larry Kurtz.

The smoke from the Anaheim fire could be seen from Disneyland a few miles away, with the orange haze creating a backdrop against the attractions.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for Orange Park Acres, North Tustin and parts of Orange.

One firefighter had been injured in the blaze as of late Monday.

Residents rushed in to save animals in Anaheim, and Joseph Pane and his family got to work.

“We grabbed a garden hose, a power washer and buckets of water because we have a pool, and started putting it out,” Pane said.

Dubbed Canyon Fire 2, the fire was burning about a mile from the area scorched by the recent Canyon Fire that blackened more than 2,600 acres and took more than a week to contain.

About 500 firefighters were battling the Anaheim inferno late Monday. Officials anticipate 1,000 to be on the scene come Tuesday morning.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  1. Wildfires and wood (trees and homes) certainly don’t play nice together. Hopefully, many of the missing are still fleeing the infernos and will be discovered safe. In only the last couple of months, there has been devastation in California (fires), Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands (hurricanes) due to nature’s wrath. Add earthquakes in Mexico and North America has hit a tragic trifecta. Now another named storm, Ophelia, is out in the Atlantic and may be looking to cause more grief. 2018 can’t come soon enough.

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