Windsor residents allowed to return home as containment on Kincade Fire grows

Windsor residents evacuated due to the Kincade Fire were allowed to return home on Wednesday afternoon. 

The town began repopulating around 2 p.m. and residents were greeted with welcome signs.

In retrospect, it's a miracle town. 

When the Kincade Fire came to the very fences of Windsor's northeast neighborhoods, Mayor Dominic Foppoli already knew something only a few others knew. 

"I was brought into a room and as the mayor, they said, 'We need you to prepare on behalf of your residents that you're going to lose a huge part of your town,'" he said. "I mean, we were looking at Paradise level destruction."

With winds shifting, howling and spewing embers downwind, it was as bad as he had been previously informed. 

"The best case: either gonna lose my family business or I was gonna lose part of my town," Foppoli said. "And I just processed it for a second and then pushed it back and realized that it's important to stand strong for my residents."

But firefighters faced that angry dragon, going all in. 

"You and I were in there together. It was the greatest fire ever in the history of our town that hit the entire north at the same time," the mayor added. "And thanks to the valiant, heroic efforts of 200 plus firefighters and town staff going house to house, every single home in Windsor was saved."

Thanks to countless aerial drops of retardant and water, including the 747 Supertanker, the area lost only two wineries. 

Christopher Creek Winery is just one of the hundreds of small. family-owned wineries in northern Sonoma County's Alexander and Dry Creek valley. 

Almost all of them are dependent on tasting room visitors to sell their wines. 

The mayor's family owns the tiny, near half-century-old winery. 

But with the power's shutoff, most, if not all of the wineries lost this year's production. 

"It's gone. So we're looking at at least half a vintage being ruined, being spoiled which is hard when you're a small family winery," Foppoli said. 

North Sonoma family vintners are hoping, that during the best and most important part of the wine tourism year, the Bay Area will come up to taste and buy wine.