High alert in Sonoma remains for unpredictable flames

People who live in Sonoma thought after Sunday night's raging fire, the worst was over, but last night flames crept back, lapping at the northeast corners of the town.

Cal Fire has not released the official number of homes lost, but this morning a few homes on Castle Road, Half Moon Street and Lovall Valley Road burned to the ground.

10,000 firefighters were battling the Nuns Fire Saturday which as of Saturday afternoon had consumed more than 46,000 acres and was only 10 percent contained.

"We thought it was all over you know what I mean?" said one man as he helped clear and water down the brush at Gundlach Bundschu Winery, where owners braced for round two.

Six Cal Fire helicopters hovered above the winery throughout most of the day, rotating in and out of the family's reservoir, dipping their 800-gallon buckets for nearby water drops.

"It's just been a roller coaster of emotions for five days," said Katie Bundschu. "For the last four mornings we've all been up at three in the morning. My brother's basically been sleeping here overnight, watching for hotspots, watching for the winds."

The Bundschus were happy to donate their water for the fire fight. Earlier this week, Katie's parents lost their home.

"We've been battling that and the emotions of that," admitted Bundschu. "Along with battling and making sure we keep our 160-year-old business still intact."

Helicopter crews made water drops in the northeastern and eastern edges of Sonoma where overnight wind-fueled flames whipped dangerously close to town.

"I've been a firefighter for 20 years, I haven't seen fire quite like this," said Captain Tony McHale, Ventura Co Fire Department. "We're not magicians but we're going to do our very best to save lives and protect property.

According to firefighters, one of the biggest challenges is swirling winds, an eddy effect from the terrain which tossed up embers and scattering them in different directions.

But crews are hopeful it will be over soon.

"We're engaging this thing we're taking it by the horns we're going to be here until the job is done," said Captain McHale.