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Napa County brush fire rapidly grows to at least 1,500 acres, forcing hospital to evacuate

A fire that began overnight in Napa County, California, has rapidly burned 2,500 acres, forcing a local hospital to evacuate on Sunday while authorities plac...

Posted: Sep 28, 2020 6:22 AM

A fire that began overnight in Napa County, California, has rapidly burned 2,500 acres, forcing a local hospital to evacuate on Sunday while authorities placed more than 7,000 people under evacuation notices.

The Glass Fire, which began as a 20-acre brush fire near Deer Park, could spread further by winds that are expected throughout the day, Cal Fire said. The fire is 0% contained.

The fire was reported at 3:50 a.m. PT, Napa County spokeswoman Janet Upton said. The fire is burning near St. Helena, about 25 miles east of Santa Rosa. Cal Fire said the cause is under investigation.

There are 743 homes and about 1,857 people under a mandatory evacuation order, Upton said, with an additional 2,123 homes and 5,282 people under an evacuation warning, which means they should be prepared to leave if necessary.

More than 2,200 structures are threatened by the Glass Fire as of Sunday night, according to CalFire.

Officials are extremely concerned about winds picking up tonight, Upton said. The National Weather Service has the area along with much of Northern California under a Red Flag Warning for fire danger.

"We don't want it up there on those ridges when the winds pick up," Upton said.

St. Helena Hospital was evacuated out of an abundance of caution, the second time the hospital has evacuated this fire season.

Evacuation orders are in place for parts of the surrounding area, and an evacuation center has been opened at the Crosswalk Community Church in Napa, according to the Napa County Office of Emergency Services.

Residents are heeding the warnings, said Napa County Sheriff's Office spokesman Henry Wofford.

"We activated the high-low siren on our vehicles because we knew we needed to get people out of there quickly," Wofford said. "When they hear that high-low siren coming from cars as we drove through their neighborhoods they know it's time to evacuate. The motto is, 'If I can hear it, it's time to go.'"

Craig Philpott posted photos and videos to his Twitter account that show the Glass Fire blazing red overnight and the fire's smoke choking the air on Sunday morning.

A new blaze in Northern California named the Zogg Fire has grown to 1,000 acres in just a few hours after it started this afternoon in Shasta County. Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect in some areas, according Cal Fire. Shasta County is northeast of Napa County.

Scope of power shut-offs reduced

The scope of Pacific, Gas & Electric's power shut-offs to prevent wildfires in Northern California this weekend has decreased from nearly 100,000 customers expected to be affected, to 65,000 customers.

A press release issued by PG&E Sunday attributes the decrease in numbers to "favorable changes in forecast weather conditions." The utility giant announced the plan late last week due to Red Flag warnings across much of the state.

Power was shut off for 11,000 customers early Sunday morning and the second wave of 54,000 shut-offs is expected to begin at 4 p.m. PT Sunday afternoon, primarily in the Central Sierra Region.

Napa County, where the Glass Fire sparked overnight, is on the list of counties expected to experience shutoffs.

Critical fire weather conditions are in place across much of northern California and portions of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Drought, strong winds, dry vegetation and above-average temperatures are expected across the fire-weary West.

The blaze continues a remarkable wildfire season in the western US that scientists warn is a preview of a new normal as human activity and carbon emissions make the earth hotter and dryer.

Nine months into the year, more than 44,000 fires across the US have burned more than 7.1 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. That's already 1 million more burned acres than the yearly average over the last 10 years. An average of 46,409 fires are reported each year.

In California, five of the state's top 10 largest fires in recorded history, in terms of acreage, have occurred in 2020 and are still burning.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Washington34683272
Marion32181388
Clackamas26315270
Lane23632246
Jackson20753255
Deschutes16401100
Umatilla12552125
Douglas10599185
Linn1030285
Josephine8536163
Yamhill737299
Klamath637891
Polk617770
Malheur475867
Benton454027
Coos406469
Columbia320237
Jefferson310446
Lincoln272829
Union266036
Wasco236739
Crook212137
Clatsop210225
Tillamook179623
Baker171920
Morrow166621
Curry166317
Hood River161635
Harney77115
Grant7538
Lake6608
Wallowa50111
Gilliam1364
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 4620663

Reported Deaths: 67781
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144072125799
Riverside3561924786
San Diego3481004002
San Bernardino3456445474
Orange3135295344
Sacramento1494582070
Santa Clara1398391835
Fresno1347291868
Kern1343971515
Alameda1155381318
Ventura972861115
San Joaquin965701608
Contra Costa95152917
Stanislaus800341229
Tulare72268894
San Mateo51984607
San Francisco51582605
Monterey49321562
Solano43887312
Santa Barbara42872497
Sonoma39192376
Merced38977532
Placer36118358
Imperial34105753
Kings29822280
San Luis Obispo28136310
Madera21520258
Butte20994230
Shasta20308276
Santa Cruz20066211
Yolo19040239
Marin17020242
El Dorado15864127
Sutter12955152
Napa1219395
Yuba915461
Nevada839485
Humboldt819084
Tehama810983
San Benito706167
Mendocino676471
Lassen634127
Tuolumne605593
Lake596487
Amador486658
Glenn394630
Siskiyou383241
Calaveras334566
Del Norte330134
Colusa289718
Inyo164939
Mono14625
Plumas12076
Mariposa96712
Trinity70510
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1170
Alpine990
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