Two thousand people in California's Napa Valley wine region have been ordered to evacuate their homes and another 3,000 have been told to prepare for fast-spreading forest fires that have destroyed at least one winery.
Chateau Boswell, a 40-year-old family-run winery near St. Helena, burned on Sunday evening as firefighters desperately tried to put out the fire.
According to the Napa County Office of Emergency Services, there are 64 wineries in the evacuation or evacuation warning areas, as well as in rural areas and remote communities with no legal personality.
Strong winds at 90 km / h hampered attempts to extinguish the glass fire, which broke out at 3:50 a.m. on Sunday and has so far burned down 2,500 acres near St. Helena.
St. Helena, around 15 miles north of Napa, has been the site of valuable wineries since the 1860s. Nearby is Beringer, one of California's oldest continuously operating wineries, founded in 1875 by Jacob Beringer and his brother Frederick. Some wines produced in the region sell for more than $ 460 per bottle.
The Glass Mountain Inn is engulfed in flames after a fire broke out in St. Helena, California on Sunday that destroyed a number of homes
Chateau Boswell, a 40 year old family run winery near St. Helena, was on fire on Sunday evening
Chateau Boswell was the first winery to receive Napa Green certification in recognition of its environmental efforts
The steeple at Chateau Boswell winery burns as the glass fire moves through the area, destroying more than 2,500 acres
A plane dumps fire retardant chemicals on the hills above the Napa Valley vineyards
A Marin County firefighter is battling the glass fire in Calistoga as the flames hit fields and houses in the area
Embers fell from a tree in St. Helena as firefighters struggled to control the fire that raged across the state
One vineyard was destroyed by the terrible fire that lit the sky orange and decimated much of the beautiful landscape
The glass fire burns behind the Merus Wines vineyards in the Napa Valley after a heat wave and dry winds created the perfect storm for the fire
The Glass Mountain Inn felt guilty and completely destroyed the popular Napa Valley bed and breakfast
Firefighters watch the glass fire burn near Viader Vineyards and Winery in Deer Park, Napa County on Sunday
Napa Valley has been known for its vineyards since the 1860s, producing wines that can sell for more than $ 460 a bottle
The vines of the Viader vineyards were shrouded in smoke on Sunday afternoon when the glass fire got out of control
A fountain in front of the Glass Mountain Inn is lit by the blazing fires that destroy the property in the background
The area is also flanked by the LNU Lightning Complex, which triggered on August 17 and destroyed 363,000 acres. It is now 98 percent contained – in contrast to the glass fire, which is completely uncontrolled.
According to the press democrat, there are 743 houses and 1,857 people in the Glass Fire evacuation zone.
Another 1,370 houses and 3,425 people are in the larger evacuation warning zone.
Some were evacuated from their homes before dawn and evacuations continued throughout the day.
Among the evacuees were 50 patients at Adventist Health St. Helena Hospital in Deer Park.
It was the 151-bed hospital's second forest fire-related evacuation in a month after a massive buildup of lightning that swept several counties north of the San Francisco Bay region in August.
A 48-hour red flag warning, which began at 9 p.m. on Saturday and was expected to last until 9 p.m. on Monday, was the basis for the hospital evacuation and extensive evacuations in residential areas.
Fourteen Napa County Sheriff MPs went door to door urging people to evacuate.
The cause of the fire is being investigated and there have been no immediate reports of injuries
Planes dropped tons of fire retardant chemicals at Davis Estates Winery near Calistoga
A large region of Northern California fought the raging fires as many homes were destroyed in the inferno
The roof of Chateau Boswell was ablaze as the fire swept across the area in the recent terrifying wildfire
The slopes above Davis Estates winery were on fire Sunday, and firefighters were working to protect the site
The fire broke out in the middle of the traditional grape harvest in Napa Valley, known worldwide as one of California's premier wine regions.
The region's 475 wineries account for just 4 percent of the state's total annual grape harvest, but half the retail value of all California wines sold, according to the Napa Valley Vintners trading group.
Of the 16 Napa or Sub-Appellations wine-growing areas, the Howell Mountain area may have been the most threatened, said Lisa Covey, a spokeswoman for Hall Family Wines, who kept all three of the county's tasting rooms open during the day.
Napa and other wine-growing regions have been affected by forest fires in and around the Bay Area for several years. Susan Krausz, co-owner of Arkenstone Estate Vineyards in the Howell Mountain township of Angwin, said it would take days or weeks to evaluate the impact of the recent fire on valley winemakers.
"Most people have harvested," she said, but added, "Anytime is a bad time to have a fire."
The fire broke out in the middle of the traditional grape harvest in Napa Valley, known worldwide as one of California's premier wine regions
California forest fires scorched more than 3.7 million acres in the first nine months of 2020, far exceeding any year in the state's history
Chris Maschauser rides an ATV to cut off goats from Mascauser Vineyards and Ranch that had been hired to eat undergrowth to protect them from the advance of the fire
Tom Kaljian, 78, a realtor who owns a home about halfway between Calistoga and St. Helena, defied evacuation orders to spend the day with his wife hosing down their home and walking along a fence line that dated their property Silverado Trail separates, dry brushes major north-south road.
"We were told to get out of here, but I was trying to protect our little shelter, so we stayed," he told Reuters over the phone.
After firefighters told him the house was no longer in danger, he added, "I stopped watering at this point and came in and took a nap."
The glass fire came when the Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced it had temporarily cut power to transmission lines in parts of 16 counties in northern and central California to protect against major forest fire risks in hot, windy, and dry weather.
According to PG&E, the state's largest electricity company, public safety blackouts are likely to affect around 65,000 regional homes and businesses.
California forest fires scorched more than 3.7 million acres in the first nine months of 2020, far more than any year in the state's history, killing 26 people and destroying more than 7,000 buildings.
During the glass fire, a Cal Fire fire engine drives into the Louis Stralla water treatment plant
The moon rises behind burning trees along the famous Silverado Trail Road, home to dozens of famous wineries
A palm tree on fire as the glass fire rages along the famous Silverado Trail Road in the town of Deer Park
Firefighters protect a residence from the penetrating glass fire in a vineyard in Deer Park
"We're very concerned about the red flag conditions tonight," said Janet Upton, spokeswoman for the Napa County Office of Emergency Services.
She said many of the communities were isolated and accessible via narrow, winding mountain roads, making the decision to evacuate more urgent.
Upton said the dry conditions and strong winds worried firefighters.
"There has been discussion about the relative humidity at high altitudes in the fire area of only 0 percent – and oven-dried wood is 9 percent," said Upton.
"This factor alone would trigger dangerous fire behavior without wind."
The spectacular 100 year old Davis Estate winery with its beautiful wood tasting room has been classified as under threat.
So does Reverie, which was founded 25 years ago on a lush hill in Napa.
Photos posted on social media showed planes flying over Davis Estate, dropping fire retardant chemicals to protect property.
Cal Fire used a DC10 aircraft that was capable of deflating nearly 10,000 gallons of retarder in eight seconds on each pass.
Chateau Boswell was of no help. The winery was one of the few family-owned wineries among 554 Napa Valley wineries.
On Sunday, the winery was on fire and firefighters tried what they could to save the ravaged buildings and vines.
There are 743 homes and 1,857 people in the Glass Fire evacuation zone, according to district emergency officers
Chateau Boswell, a winery founded 40 years ago, was engulfed in flames on Sunday afternoon
The lovingly tended grapes from which Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc wines were made went up in smoke on Sunday
The trees around the famous Silverado Trail went up in flames on Sunday when the glass fire raged