Wildfires Raging in California's Sonoma County After 'Hurricane-force' Winds Rip Through Wine Country (Video)
Update (Friday, Oct. 25, 10 a.m. ET)
People across Northern California have been forced to evacuate after the Kincade Fire rapidly spread overnight due to “hurricane-force winds” in the area, according to CNN.
Geyserville, a town located roughly 80 miles north of San Francisco in Sonoma County, ordered mandatory evacuations of its 862 residents as the fire spread to nearly 10,000 acres. According to The Weather Channel, the fire was originally reported at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night and spread to over 15.6 square miles by Thursday morning.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office and other public officials, including Senator Kamala Harris, advised residents to evacuate the area immediately.
Videos and images from Sonoma County show the fire ripping through the area in the early hours of the morning.
According to CNN, the fire was burning so intensely it began to rain fire as seen in video captured by Brian Hickey of KCRA.
As the sun rose over Sonoma County, one of California’s premier wine regions, images began to emerge of smoke billowing across the area. The blaze still burning.
Celebrity chef José Andrés, who runs World Central Kitchen, is already in the area waiting to serve food to those displaced by the fires.
Meanwhile, in Southern California, evacuations were ordered for areas of north San Bernardino County due to a fire that started around 2 a.m. Thursday morning. As of 6 a.m. Thursday morning, the Old Water Fire had spread to over 75 acres with zero percent containment, according to the Forest Service. Evacuation centers have been set up for those displaced by this fire.
Outside Los Angeles, the Tick Fire in Santa Clarita expanded Thursday night, according to The Weather Channel. By Thursday afternoon over 10,000 buildings were threatened by fire and over 40,000 people had been ordered to evacuate. More residents were ordered to evacuate overnight as the fire continued to grow. In total over 50,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes in Southern California.
According to The Los Angeles Times, fires are currently burning in the Northern California Wine country, San Bernardino, Orange County, Marin County, Santa Clarita, Eagle Rock, and the San Fernando Valley.
Over the weekend, extreme weather conditions are expected to intensify the threat of fires. According to The Los Angeles Times, widespread power outages are possible as utility companies work to prevent further incidents due to utility lines. It’s unclear if electrical lines are to blame for any of the fires, but an incident report from Sonoma county shows a transmission line failure near the time of the outbreak of the Kincade fire.
This story is developing.