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Hundreds evacuated as blazes ravage Napa, Sonoma


Windsor Fire Chief Jack Piccinini said that almost every one of Sonoma County's fire resources is being used, but it is not enough.

Napa County fire officials said that the wild fires had burned more than 68 square miles, destroying more than 50 structures.

In Napa County, Cal Fire says firefighters were battling as many as 10 blazes that forced hundreds of evacuations in the Soda Canyon, Atlas Peak and Patrick Road areas of Napa and in Calistoga.

The only positive news is that fire officials have said that the high winds of last night have died down for the time being, but they are expected to kick up again around sundown, meaning that fast containment is vital.

Early Monday morning, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department said fires had also erupted in Santa Rosa, Windsor and Sebastopol. Strong winds have blown the smoke from the fires, which have burned tens of thousands of acres, throughout the Bay Area, air district officials said.

At 4:30 a.m., Napa County opened a second Napa-area evacuation center, the Napa Valley College gym, after the shelter at CrossWalk Church on First Street filled with evacuees.

Here's a look at what's being referred to as the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa. The morning commute on southbound Highway 101 was slower than normal as additional cars evacuating the fire were on the roadway.

Veronica Ortega was at the Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Santa Rosa when she smelled smoke and saw flames through the window of her fiancé's room on the fourth floor.

The fire could also be seen from Highway 29.

In total, SFGate reports there are now 14 fires burning across eight counties in Northern California, including other fires that were sparked in Butte, Yuba, and Nevada counties.

"Fire has burned all the way through the Silverado Country Club area", Biermann said in a reference to the Silverado Resort and Spa.

"I mean blazing, falling down on fire", he said.

Flames were also burning near the Domaine Carneros winery.

The local Napa Valley Register reported that complete strangers are helping each other - including one family, who were enjoying their Wine Country tour one moment, and fleeing for their lives the next, picking up another tourist along the way.

Smoke from the conflagrations could be sensed as far as San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose.

Patients at a healing center in Sonoma County must be cleared as the blasts seethed on.

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