World Wildfires rip through California wine country, thousands flee homes
Why we’re more confident than ever that climate change is driving disasters
The emerging field of climate attribution helps explain the wildfires and hurricanes of 2020.Compare that with 2020, where researchers now have far more data showing just how much climate change affects the frequency and likelihood of heat waves (and fires that follow them), ocean heat waves, droughts, and intense storms. That has risen alongside a growing public awareness of how climate change is playing out. A 2019 Pew Research poll found that 62 percent of Americans said climate change was impacting their local community. CBS News reported that a majority of Americans now believe climate change is contributing to extreme weather.
Thousands of people were forced to flee their homes in California's Napa Valley Monday as wildfires ripped through the region's world-famous wine country.
Under an opaque orange sky, trees and vineyards were consumed and houses devastated by the fire that had burned its way over more than 11,000 acres (4,500 hectares) by Monday morning.
Wildfires rip through California wine country, thousands flee
Thousands of people were forced to flee their homes in California's Napa Valley on Monday as wildfires fanned by fierce winds ripped through the region's world-famous wine country. The inferno is threatening communities in Napa and neighboring Sonoma still reeling from devastating wildfires in 2017, when 44 people died and thousands of buildings were razed. "It's like a double whammy," Thompson said of the repeat destruction.
Some vineyards had already gone up in smoke, such as the Chateau Boswell Winery in the town of St Helena, while others, like Merus Wines and Davis Estates were under imminent threat from the fast-moving flames.
"I grabbed my neighbor. I wouldn't take 'no' for an answer," Lorraine Fuentez, of Calistoga told the San Francisco Chronicle, having fled with her elderly neighbor.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the fire had begun to burn houses early Monday on the edges of Sonoma County's most populous town, Santa Rosa, home to 177,000 residents, which was devastated three years ago by another fire.
Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for parts of the towns of St Helena and Calistoga, local media reported, saying that more than 8,500 structures were under threat from the flames.
US wildfires: Firefighter dies battling California blaze
Authorities say cooler weather, storms and work of thousands of firefighters are giving hope on the US West Coast.The death happened on Thursday in the San Bernardino National Forest as crews battled the El Dorado Fire, which officials said was sparked by "a smoke generating pyrotechnic device" during a gender-reveal party earlier this month.
Strong winds, gusting up to 55 mph, were blowing embers and spreading the blaze, named the Glass Fire, which more than 1,000 firefighters were trying to get under control.
Santa Rosa resident Jes Sihota, 49, a radiology technician, told The Press Democrat newspaper the flying embers were the size of golf balls. He said he sent his family away but stayed to spray the roof of his and his neighbors' houses with water from a garden to slow the flames' advance.
"I'm no cowboy, I just didn't want to lose my home," he told the paper.
The Glass Fire began Sunday but fireighters reported three other conflagrations in the area Monday morning, which they were dealing with as one large blaze that quickly burned more than 1,000 acres, destroying an unknown number of homes.
Firefighters were deploying 133 engines, 22 water tenders, five helicopters and 35 bulldozers, the Napa Valley Register said.
Like ‘a Bomb Went Off’: Oregon City Destroyed as Wildfires Devastate West Coast
As of Sunday afternoon, there were only about 20 buildings still standing in the city of Detroit, Oregon. The wildfires raging along the West Coast hit the small, rural enclave three hours outside of Portland over the weekend, burning a majority of the community’s structures—including City Hall, where the fire department’s office is based. Locals have suggested the destruction was as if “a bomb went off.” “We have approximately 20-25 structures still standing, and the rest are gone,” the Idanha-Detroit Rural Fire Protection District said on their Facebook page, noting that several firefighters currently on the frontlines of these massive blazes had lost their own homes.
The Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) company cut electricity to 65,000 homes in northern California as a precaution.
Napa and Sonoma were badly hit with wildfires in 2017, when 44 people died and thousands of buildings were razed.
California has been battling massive wildfires for months, stoked by dry conditions, strong seasonal winds and high temperatures that the state's leadership has blamed on climate change.
Parts of the state have been engulfed at times in thick smoke, while evacuations have been complicated by the coronavirus which has hit California hard.
California wildfires turn beloved Napa wine spots to ash .
The Silverado Trail has long been a place of dreams for Napa Valley wine lovers as it winds gently through vineyards and on to Calistoga. "It's all very sad," said a Napa County sheriff deputy watching over a vineyard on the Silverado Trail. "People who come here each have their own memories, usually about a winery they love because it became special to them."In nearby Calistoga, known for geothermal hot springs, mud baths, and wine tours, the cellar master at Castello di Amorosa braved the thick smoke and fire to assess the damage.