World Glass Fire Satellite Images Show Blaze Spreading Rapidly Across Napa County
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A huge new fire in California that has prompted the evacuation of more than 7,000 people can be seen in satellite images, with smoke from the blaze visible from space.
The Glass Fire started at around 4 a.m. local time near St. Helena and has rapidly spread to cover around 2,500 acres, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said Sunday.
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The loop of satellite imagery posted on Twitter below by Rob Mayeda—a meteorologist covering the Bay Area for NBC—shows smoke being produced by the Glass Fire streaming into the atmosphere. It also shows smoke from several other blazes that are raging in Northern California, including the massive August Complex, which has burned more than 870,000 acres.
The Glass Fire, which is currently zero percent contained, can be seen at the bottom-center of the map within the the San Francisco Bay Area. It has been fueled by dry conditions and gusty winds, Cal Fire said.
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The Glass Fire is burning with "a dangerous rate of spread," the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection confirmed.The Zogg Fire, which also broke Sunday, has burned 7,000 acres and evacuation orders have been issued for multiple parts of Shasta County, according to the latest report by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).
Here's a view of the wildfires in the region including the #GlassFire and ongoing #AugustComplex among others. Note NE wind flow and renewed fire intensity, as expected in warmer, drier and gusty offshore wind environments. (2/2) #CAwx #FireWx pic.twitter.com/XyVJD9gcf2— Rob Mayeda (@RobMayeda) September 27, 2020
The image below provides a much closer view of the fire, captured using NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) Worldview interactive application. As can be seen in the photo, the smoke the fire is producing is moving in a southwesterly direction, out towards the Pacific Ocean.
The National Weather Service said winds will continue to blow offshore—from the north-northeast toward the south-southwest—on Monday, which could help the fire to spread further.
The fire has prompted the evacuation of more than 7,000 people in Napa County, including a hospital in St. Helena. More than 2,200 structures are under threat from the blaze, the cause of which is currently under investigation.
Two additional fires—Shady and Boysen—have also been reported nearby, just over the border with Sonoma County to the southeast, and northeast of the city of Santa Rosa. These have prompted further evacuations in Sonoma County.
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Evacuation orders are in effect across parts of Napa County following the Glass Fire, which is zero percent contained.The video shared by Deputy Matt Macomber, who is among several Napa County deputies currently evacuating the area, showed a vehicle driving past flames burning along the sides of the road.
Both of these fires are believed to be spot fires of the Glass Fire. This means they were ignited by flying sparks or embers that were carried from the initial fire by the wind.
The National Weather Service Bay Area posted a satellite view (see below) that is usually used to track fog and clouds, although it can also reveal the location fires. The black patch in Napa County that is heading towards Santa Rosa represents smoke being produced by the Glass Fire.
Satellite view that we use to track fog and clouds can show fires: Note the black spot in Napa Co heading toward Santa Rosa. #BoysenFire #GlassFire #ShadyFire #CAwx pic.twitter.com/Xxw5uq1Tfx— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) September 28, 2020
The post below from the National Weather Service Bay Area shows a satellite image of the Glass Fire, compared with live views of the blaze from webcams located on the ground. In the video—captured by a camera in St. Helena—the large quantities of smoke the fire is producing are clearly visible.
Here is the St Helena South Cam looking at the #GlassFire compared to what was on visible satellite from 8:10am to 5:10pm.#CAwx pic.twitter.com/dUL0PSkUZK— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) September 28, 2020
As of Sunday, more than 17,000 firefighters are battling at least 25 major blazes in California, with a Red Flag Warning in place for much of the north of the state. This warning, the highest level of alert, means weather conditions may result in "extreme fire behavior" within 24 hours in the affected region.
California: Napa Valley vineyards devoured by flames
© Samuel CORUM Glass Fire burns behind Merus Wines vineyards in Napa Valley, California on September 27, 2020 Fires devastated famous vineyards on Monday of Napa Valley in northwestern California, in the grip of a new heat wave, thousands of people having to evacuate their homes in the middle of the night. © JOSH EDELSON A water bomber over Davis Estates Vineyard in the town of St. Helena, Napa County, Calif.
Since the beginning of the year, more than 8,100 wildfires have been reported in California, which have burned a total of more than 3.7 million acres. The state has confirmed 26 fire-related fatalities, while over 7,000 structures have been destroyed.
Dakota Smith, a meteorologist and scientist with the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA,) shared images showing the Glass, Boysen and Shady fires saying there was a "scary situation" in Santa Rosa and the surrounding communities.
"This is a rapidly growing fire complex," he said on Twitter early Monday. "The Glass/Shady fire cluster showing no signs of slowing. Flaring up over the last 90 minutes."
Scary situation tonight in Santa Rosa, CA & surrounding communities.
This is a rapidly growing fire complex. pic.twitter.com/BsdESBk7c1— Dakota Smith (@weatherdak) September 28, 2020
There are currently evacuation orders and warnings in place for parts of Napa and Sonoma counties (click here for the Cal Fire incident page to see the full list of areas.)
Evacuation orders mean there is an "immediate threat" to life. "This is a lawful order to leave now. The area is fully closed to public access," Cal Fire said in a status update.
"The public is reminded to stay vigilant on current fire conditions. Please continue to adhere to road closures and any evacuation warnings or orders. A reminder to drive slowly and yield to emergency personnel in the area. There will be smoke in the respective areas as firefighters continue firefighting operations. If at any time you feel unsafe, please call 911."
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The air quality is expected to remain "unhealthy" through Friday in the Northern Zone and Eastern Zone of the Bay Area."Unfortunately, there's a lot of smoke," a spokesperson for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), Kristine Roselius, told The Chronicle. "The wind has shifted and the smoke from the Glass Fire is moving southeast into those areas like Napa, St. Helena and down into the East Bay.