SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Fires in Napa and Sonoma Counties have forced thousands of people to evacuate to avoid the flames.
As the Glass Fire exploded overnight, Sonoma and Napa County officials moved to get residents out of harms way, issuing numerous evacuation orders. Sonoma County from the eastern portion of Santa Rosa to the county line, currently under evacuation. Napa County has issued similar orders from the county line to as far east as Lake Hennessey.
Robin Suzuki, his mother and father and sister and brother all evacuated in the dead of night from their Santa Rosa home. "Yesterday midnight, the alarm was just ringing...it was just scary and we packaged all our stuff and we came here," said Suzuki.
The evacuation area just a few miles away from the Coffey Park neighborhood devastated by fire in 2017. Evacuees here at Crosswalk Community Church say it's not the first time they've had to seek shelter. "No, this is like the second time, three years ago it happened same time and we went to a different shelter that's why we came directly here," said Suzuki.
But, this is the first time they've had to seek shelter amidst a global pandemic. "So, they're checking, like a health check first cause, corona, and they have sleeping bags so we have many spots to sleep and we keep things six-feet apart.
The North Bay preparing for the influx of evacuees, opening numerous shelters, including this one at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds. Even the Sonoma Raceway opening its 50-acre parking and RV area for those needing a place to stay.
"As this thing unfolds we don't know how many people are being displaced. It is just a big empty field," said Steve Page from Sonoma Raceway. "So it's really only suitable for folks who have an RV a camper or want to do tent camping. It is open and available."
At this point there is no word on when these evacuation orders will expire, and people will be allowed to return home, officials closely monitoring the fire's progress said.