Fires in Sonoma County, North Bay Continue to Rage with Little Containment

Expanded evacuation warnings in northwestern Sonoma County

Cal Fire officials have issued new warnings advising a wider area of residents in northwestern Sonoma County to be prepared to evacuate. The warnings include the following areas:

Walbridge fire (Northern Forestville/ Zone 4B1)

All areas south of River Road from Martinelli Road to Trenton Road

West of Covey Road

North of Front Street / Hwy. 116

East of Martinelli Road

Walbridge fire (Zone 2K2)

All areas south of Highway 101

East of the Russian River to the Windsor Town limits

North of where Windsor River Road dead ends extending west to the Russian River.

Meyers fire (Zone 1E3)

All areas south of the Russian River

West of Bohemian Hwy.

North and East of Coleman valley Road and Willow Creek Road

Meyers fire (Zone 1E1)

All areas south and west of Willow Creek Road

North of Coleman Valley Road and Wright Hill Road

East of the California Coastal National Monument (Bureau of Land Management property)

Lightning strikes caused 60 fires in Sonoma, Napa, Solano and Yolo counties, according to Cal Fire

At a press conference at the Napa County Fairgrounds Wednesday, Cal Fire revealed staggering numbers that help put the scope of the LNU Lightning Complex into context.

Cal Fire Unit Chief Shanna Jones said the lightning strikes of Sunday and Monday caused approximately 60 fires in Sonoma, Napa, Lake, Solano and Yolo counties. As of Wednesday morning, she said, the blazes making up the LNU complex (at least seven individual fires have been identified and named) had burned more than 42,000 acres.

“The resources out on these fires now are same that have been out there 72 hours,” Jones said, highlighting how overextended firefighting crews are.

Chief Sean Kavanaugh of Cal Fire Incident Management Team 2, who is leading the defensive effort in the five counties, confirmed that 50 homes have been destroyed throughout the fire zone, and another 50 damaged. Kavanaugh anticipated those numbers climbing throughout the day.

Jeremy Rahn, Cal Fire’s lead public information officer for the LNU complex, added statewide numbers, statistics that help to explain why crews here have been able to contain so little of the devastation in the North Bay. Those numbers include:

* 10,849 lightning strikes across the state

* 367 new fires over three days

* 6,900 fire personnel from state and local agencies making up the effort

Kavanaugh said California has requested 375 engines from out-of-state agencies, as well as hand crews.

Cal Fire has established a public hotline for seeking information on the LNU Lightning Complex: 707-967-4207.