Point Fire: Containment at 40% on wildfire in Sonoma wine country

The Point Fire in Sonoma County has burned 1,207 acres, according to Cal Fire. Sonoma County officials have declared a local emergency in response to the wildfire that was 40% contained as of Tuesday.

Cal Fire says two structures have been destroyed and a firefighter who was injured overnight on Sunday remains in the hospital for evaluation of a non-burn, non-life threatening injury. 

Smoke was still visible this morning as the fire was at its second most dangerous threat level.

A Spare the Air Alert is in effect for the North Bay and Contra Costa County. Residents are urged to avoid burning wood and, if possible, stay indoors to minimize smoke exposure.

The emergency response will be voted on by Sonoma County's Board of Supervisors in the next seven days to consider ratifying the proclamation. This is a prerequisite for requesting state and federal assistance for response and recovery efforts. 

A temporary evacuation point has been established in the south parking lot at Laguna High School (formerly El Molino) at 7050 Covey Road in Forestville. 

Dry conditions and warm northerly winds are expected to increase wildfire risks across Northern California. The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for parts of the North Bay.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from Zone SON-2E2 in Dry Creek Valley. Zone SON-2E3, also in Dry Creek Valley, north of Mill Creek Road, south of Chemise Road, east of Wallace Creek Road, and west of Dry Creek, is under an evacuation warning, affecting over 4,000 residents, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.

The Dry Creek Valley Wine District is a major California wine area. It's 16 miles long and 2 miles wide with its creek a tributary to the Russian River. It benefits from irrigation fed into the creek by the massive, nearby, upstream Lake Sonoma Reservoir. 

Of the $1.2 billion Sonoma County generates in wine revenue, Dry Creek generates 28% at $340 million. 

"Here there's just under 70 wineries and there's over 150 growers and we have just over 9,000 planted acres," said Laura Fremont, executive director of the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley. "This is all contained to the forest essentially. All the wineries are intact and so far, as far as we know, the vines are intact as well."

Others were worried about evacuations. 

"Well, everything I owned is there. So, I'm kind of hesitant to leave, but I know I have to. So, normally, you know, the evacuation is kind of like hard. And so now it's mandatory. So, you know, I grabbed what I could, and I put it in a truck, and I'm trying to get out of here," said a resident who spoke to KTVU.

Several fire crews were seen coming in and out of Healdsburg, an area largely comprised of wineries. Firefighters from Marin County and the San Francisco Fire Department are also expected to join.

Calmer weather gave firefighters a chance to catch up. 

"Just making sure that those hot spots are good and put out so we don't have any issues with that flaring up," said Cal Fire Public Information Officer Robert Foxworthy. "Whenever there are embers that are traveling away from the main fire and they have receptive fuel beds to land in, that could be an issue." 

Fire activity has increased in California in recent days. Cal Fire is currently battling 15 fires across the state, 10 of which started on Sunday.

The Post Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties is the largest of those fires. It has burned nearly 15,000 acres. The fire started Saturday night and quickly grew in size. It is burning along Interstate 5, about 70 miles north of Los Angeles. Evacuations have been ordered in the community of Gorman. The fire is 8% contained.