The glass fire raged through Napa and Sonoma counties on Monday, tripling in size to about 56.6 square miles (146.59 square kilometers) without any containment. About two dozen homes burned down, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
The dry winds that gave the flames a fierce surge appeared to have abated Monday night and firefighters felt “a lot more confident,” said Ben Nicholls, division chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection , known as Cal Fire.
“We don’t have those critical burn conditions that we’ve experienced over the past two nights,” he said.
The Glass Fire is one of nearly 30 wildfires burning around California and the National Weather Service has warned that hot, dry conditions with strong Santa Ana winds could remain a fire hazard in the south. from California until Tuesday.
So far, in this year’s historic fire season, more than 8,100 forest fires in California have killed 29 people, burned 5,780 square miles (14,970 square kilometers) and destroyed more than 7,000 buildings.
Sonoma County Supervisor Susan Gorin, who lives in the Oakmont area of Santa Rosa, followed through on the order to flee late Monday night. It took him almost two hours of crawling along a blocked road to safety.
Gorin’s house was damaged by another fire three years ago and she was in the process of rebuilding it. She saw three neighboring houses in flames as she fled.
“We have experience of it,” she said of the fires. “Once you lose a home and represent thousands of people who have lost homes, you get pretty fatalistic saying that this is a new way of life and, unfortunately, a way of life. normal life, the megafires that are spreading throughout the West. ”
Gorin said it appeared the fire in his area had been started by the embers of the glass fire.
Numerous studies in recent years have linked the largest forest fires in America to climate change due to the burning of coal, oil and gas. Scientists say climate change has made California much drier, which means trees and other plants are more flammable.