Residents leave Calistoga, entire city under evacuation order

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The city of Calistoga in Napa County was the latest area to receive a mandatory evacuation for the entire area because of the 22 wildfires raging through Northern California as wineries began to assess their damage and officials tried to get a handle on how many people were displaced from their homes.

Authorities are asking residents to "please leave immediately." A shelter at American Canyon High School is open. They are reminding residents to take their pets and medication. 

On Wednesday, Cal Fire ordered the residents north of Grant Street to leave home, and the rest of the city was placed under an advisory alert because of the Tubbs Fire, which had started Sunday night and was still not even close to being contained by Wednesday morning. A firefighter told KTVU that 40 percent of the homes on one one rural street alone -- Mountain Home Ranch Road -- had burned starting on Sunday night.

Residents were told to leave by the  the Silverado Trail south to Zinfandel lane then West to SR 29 South. Napa Valley college is open for shelter.

At a gas station early Wednesday, one woman told KTVU that she was simply in "survival mode. We're trying to stay safe." She and her family were filling up their car in the dark and trying to head out of town. Another man said, "I got my dog, it's 4 in the morning. You gotta do what you can do."

In all, Napa County was getting hit by four fires, officials said at a Wednesday news conference: The Tubbs, Atlas Peak, Partrick and Nuns fires. They urged people to stay away from their homes and said they had no idea just how many evacuees there were to date.

Calistoga sits in the heart of Napa County, one of the capitals of wine country in Northern California where several wineries were under siege and five had been destroyed, with another nine reporting some damage, said Michael Honig, board chairman of the Napa Valley Vintners trade association and president of Honig Vineyard & Winery.

He said the group has not heard from all members, especially those in the most vulnerable parts of the valley.

Signorello Estate in Napa and Paradise Ridge Winery in Kenwood were destroyed by the firestorm. Many others, including William Hill Estate Winery and White Rock Vineyards, both in Napa, and Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood sustained damage and are closed.

There was some heartening news, though. A California Highway Patrol officer said that helicopter crews were able to rescue at least 50 people during one of the agency's many air operations.


Cal Fire provided the latest updates on the  wildfires on Wednesday morning. A breakout of some of the largest fires:

Tubbs Fire: 28,000 acres, 0 percent containment. Started in Napa County near Calistoga but continued to burn in Sonoma County doing most of the damage in Santa Rosa. It forced new evacuations on Wednesday in Calistoga.

Atlas Fire: 42,000 acres, 3 percent contained. Started in Napa and Solano counties off Atlas Peak Road, forcing new evacuations in Green Valley.

Nuns Fire: 7,600 acres, 2 percent contained. Started in Sonoma County.

Pocket Fire: 1,800 acres. Started in Sonoma County off Pocket Ranch Road near Geyserville.

Partrick Fire: 9,500 acres, 2 percent contained. Started in Napa county west of Napa.

Redwood/Potter Fires: 29,500 acres, 5 percent contained. Started in Mendocino County west of Mendocino National Forest. Extends into Lake County.

Sulphur Fire: 2,500 acres, 30 percent contained. Started in Lake County near Clearlake Oaks.