Kincade Fire containment improves ahead of wind's return
WINDSOR, Calif. - There was more progress on the Kincade Fire Monday, but the upcoming wind event presents a serious complication. In addition, a new evacuation warning was issued Monday evening for parts of Lake County.
The fire grew to 74,324 acres by Monday evening and was 15% contained. At a Monday evening news conference, Cal Fire Division Chief Jonathan Cox said 123 structures have been destroyed, 57 of which are residential homes. 90,000 structures remain threatened from the fire.
The latest wind event will begin Tuesday morning in the North Bay and will spread to other parts of the region. Winds are expected to peak Tuesday night. As a result another round of power shutoffs may affect as many as 605,000 PG&E customers.
Cal Fire said additional evacuation warnings were in effect on the eastern side of Sonoma County and the west side of Lake County. Meanwhile, western Sonoma County was being repopulated, but is still under an evacuation warning, meaning residents should be prepared to evacuate if an order is issued.
The new evacuation warning affects Zone 31, which is the area of Highway 29 from Butts Canyon Road south to the county line, all of Butts Canyon Road in Lake County between Highway 29 and the Napa County line, Highway 175 between Highway 29 Middleton north to McKinley Drive. This includes Middletown proper, Twin Pine Casino, Middletown Rancheria, Dry Creek area, all roads off of Highway 175 between Middletown and McKinley Drive and Butts Canyon Road, including all side streets.
Cal Fire and mutual aid crews worked to keep the flames off the Windsor flatlands where homes, businesses, and vineyards are located.
Helicopters dropped numerous loads of waters on a burning structure on Chalk Hill Road, to slows its progress and keep it from spreading. Fire engines arrived within minutes, and crews went into the fray with hoses to finish the job.
While helicopter drops are critical in slowing a fire, firefighters on the ground are essential.
One man said, he and his brother stayed behind because their elderly mother did not want to go.
"Me and my brother stayed there and sprayed water and I know they say that's it's a senseless thing to do but that's where me and my brother grew up," said Dan Spain.
One of the key problems is that there are countless hotspots. If flames spread to vegetation, it can turn into a major fire. With more winds in the forecast, hotspots are a threat.
KTVU's Tom Vacar spotted a fire burning near some homes and jumped into action to put it out.
Assemblyman Mike Thompson said, "It's kind of damned if you do and you're damned if you don't shut the power off."
He didn't condemn Pacific Gas and Electric, but said the way energy is made and transmitted is in need of changes.
"There has to be stable energy provided. It has to be done safely. There has to be an investment made in the equipment that they have, where lines can be underground, Thompson said.
Santa Rosa Assemblyman Jim Wood agreed.
"I think we're just seeing where all these conditions are catching up with us; how we've managed our land, the drought was a huge contributor to that," he said.
Meanwhile, Sonoma County Sheriff's Department said on Monday that they made an arrest that appeared to be related to looting. Sheriff's department spokesman Mark Essick said a couple of unathorized people, who appeared to be up to no good, entered an evacuation area in near Geyserville, south of Cloverdale.