#1  
Old 10-09-2017, 04:46 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Napa/Sonoma Fires

We woke up at 6:30 this morning smelling smoke. We thought it was from a fire in our neighborhood, but it was from the Napa fires - which are 50 miles to the north of us.

Last I heard 5,000 houses destroyed, 14 fires, 68 sq. miles of fire, 0 containment.
Any Dopers that way? Anyone evacuated? Stay safe up there.
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:01 PM
Rhiannon8404 Rhiannon8404 is offline
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My cousins in the area have all checked in with me, with the last one checking in a little while ago. So far, everyone is Ok, but one cousin's in-laws had to evacuate their area and have probably lost their house/property. The pictures and footage of the area are shocking.
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:31 PM
Jumpbass Jumpbass is offline
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I live in Napa. We're fine, far enough away from any blazes. School's been canceled, much of the town is without power, and most of us have no cell signal. Many businesses are closed.

My wife's work has closed. She works at Silverado Resort. They just finished the PGA tournament there yesterday. The resort has been evacuated, as well as the rest of the area. Many homes lost.

My sister's son may have lost his house in Santa Rosa. My sister may have to evacuate. She's in the eastern hills.

We were woken last night by the strong smell of smoke and thought, like many others, that our own house was burning. It was VERY windy and figured that the smoke was from a brush fire somewhere.

Went back to bed to be woken up around 3:00 am by texts from the sheriff/ fire departments telling of multiple wildfires burning around the valley. My first thought was of a serial arsonist. They started out as 200 acres big, but swelled quickly. As of 8:00 am, there were 20,000 acres burning in one place.

Fire crews were not even beginning to fight the fires, but get people out safely. The local shelters reached capacity by 8:00 as well and more were opened.

The sun came up and turned everything orange from the thick smoke. The air smells strongly of smoke and ashes are covering everything. The parking lots of the larger stores in town are full of fire refugees. Lots of RVs, campers and livestock trailers. Long lines for gas, too.

I haven't listened to the news since about 9:30, so I don't know how things are going. Maybe I'll check back with an update.

As I said, I'm not terribly near any blazes. Thing is, it got very windy, and those winds are carrying burning embers to rooftops. It's conceivable that they could reach us, but not a strong chance. the wind has died down, but I don't know if it will come back. Let's hope not.

TLDR: Napa's burning. I'm fine.
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:35 PM
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I'm way down in Texas, but I've been to Santa Rosa many times over the last >30 years, and I saw today that the two hotels where I would always stay have both completely burned down. Kinda sinks in more now.
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Old 10-09-2017, 06:10 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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This is a catastrophe. Very suspicious that so many fires all started at the same time. CA Fire Season is upon us!!
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Old 10-09-2017, 06:37 PM
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This is a catastrophe. Very suspicious that so many fires all started at the same time. CA Fire Season is upon us!!
They've been warning of fire danger for a few days now. But even if the first one was arson, the rest weren't. The winds were very high last night up there, and on TV you can see the embers blowing all over the place. Plus, they started reasonably early at night (I think I heard 10 pm) so not a lot could be done in the dark.

But catastrophe for sure. There are so many fires, over such a wide area, that I don't know how the firefighters can even get started.
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Old 10-09-2017, 07:19 PM
mind the gap mind the gap is offline
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Mrs. Gap and I are evac'd from just west of Sonoma town. Voluntary Evac order has been issued for the town proper now. Couldn't find Kitty, she went to ground sometime early this morning. She's an outdoor born cat and if anything will be ok, she will. Mrs. Gap's daughter in laws dad lost his house, at least two of Mrs. Gap's chorus sisters have lost theirs. We hope our house and Mrs. Gap's insurance business will be there when we return. We could see smoke in the hills 4 miles north, and an area we often short cut through is gone. Glen Ellen, where Jack London's place is, is under heavy threat.
Mrs. Gap and I have been through this shit before when we lived in the San Bernardino mountains. This is messed up and though it was awful windy last night it seems wrong to have SO many fires break out at a similar time.
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:00 PM
Jumpbass Jumpbass is offline
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Here's a current fire map.

Stay safe, Gap fam!
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Jumpbass View Post

TLDR: Napa's burning. I'm fine.
Glad to hear it. Stay safe, and I hope the fires stay away.
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:10 PM
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[QUOTE=Jumpbass;20528431]Here's a current fire map.

Thanks for the link. The maps on TV haven't been very useful.
  #11  
Old 10-09-2017, 08:49 PM
Asimovian Asimovian is offline
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Earlier today, I saw a headline about fires up that way and kind of shrugged because, California. This evening, I see a headline about 10 people dead and 1500 structures destroyed. Unbelievable bad.
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Old 10-09-2017, 11:56 PM
mind the gap mind the gap is offline
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Updating what little I've found out, latest CalFire map shows Sonoma town still ok. Chateau St. Jean Winery, a customer of the machine shop I'm at, has burnt, as has a lovely B+B I go by all the time. I fear lots of Glen Ellen has burnt and our stomachs are in knots. In the coming days we will find out how much damage has been done. Mrs. Gap and I have both seen the devastation of forest fires. By being surrounded by nature you get reminded once in a while how merciless life can be.
The county sheriffs have lifted the evac order but since we're here and in the a/c we will stay put for the night. Weather may help out tonight and tomorrow since the forecast is for 8 mph winds instead of 30 or so. (Thanks, Jumpbass.)
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:03 PM
Jumpbass Jumpbass is offline
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Morning update:

We remain fine. The fire closest to us seems to be moving east, away from town. Sadly, it's moving into a populated area in Solano County. We were on eggshells last night, packing some bags, getting pets, important documents and valuables organized in case we had to bug out, but we're still here.

News coverage is shit here. The local radio station is 99% filler with little tidbits of real information. The Bay Area news stations are concentrating on Sonoma County because there's more damage there and it's easier to get to, but to be honest, there's not much news to be had. Fires are burning, people are evacuated, shelters are full. Same as last night. I'm just now hearing that a sheriff's briefing is starting to happen. Stand by.
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:32 PM
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Okay, the press conference is basically over. The big news is that the state has petitioned FEMA for federal assistance. That means we can get out of state fire crews here to help.

Nobody is trying to fight the fires yet. They're still concentrating on making sure people are safe. I imagine they will start working on the fires later today. I hope.

Comcast has opened up their wifi free to the public for the time being. McDonald's and Starbucks all over are crowded with folks keeping touch.

Some areas are requiring water to be boiled before drinking. We lost a pumping station yesterday.

I still have power, water, TV, phone, wifi. I consider myself lucky. I think I'll take a drive later and check in on some of my friends and family without those things. Tell them to come here and check in with the world.
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Old 10-10-2017, 01:18 PM
Jumpbass Jumpbass is offline
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The local paper just posted a new fire map of Napa County. I live west of the south end of the Atlas Fire. It's about two miles away but heading south. I fear that it will close hwy 12 between Napa and I80. That's not good. It's a major way in and out of the valley.

Fire Map (PDF)
  #16  
Old 10-10-2017, 02:53 PM
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First up, I'm glad to be hearing from some area Dopers that you are safe. I hope the same hold true for everyone. I know there are some we have not heard from yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mind the gap View Post
Updating what little I've found out, latest CalFire map shows Sonoma town still ok. Chateau St. Jean Winery, a customer of the machine shop I'm at, has burnt, as has a lovely B+B I go by all the time.
Sad to hear about St. Jean. I dread hearing the rest of it.
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Old 10-10-2017, 03:12 PM
Asimovian Asimovian is offline
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The latest report notes that the number of fatalities has reached 13.
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Old 10-10-2017, 03:48 PM
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Good news on Chateau St. Jean, saw some pics this morning and it's still there. Evidently the fire burnt close but didn't wipe them out. Still tons of smoke in Sonoma town center and Valley of the Moon in general. Mrs. Gap has had to call one client and deliver bad news about the house and cars, but so far that's it. We're all just keeping fingers and toes crossed.
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Old 10-10-2017, 05:37 PM
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The latest report notes that the number of fatalities has reached 13.
The TV news just said 15. Many are missing, but with the chaotic conditions there is room for hope. Over 80 of the previous missing have been found.

At least the wind has died down and humidity has risen, so the fires don't seem to be moving as quickly as they were yesterday.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:03 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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The TV news just said 15. Many are missing, but with the chaotic conditions there is room for hope. Over 80 of the previous missing have been found.

At least the wind has died down and humidity has risen, so the fires don't seem to be moving as quickly as they were yesterday.
The smoke doesn't seem as bad around my area today. I think the wind might have shifted. Let's hope the missing show up, because the number is pretty high. Buildings, we can replace.
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:19 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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Be safe, NoCaliDopers... I mean, really, I'll take the rains and winds over the fire any time.



Meanwhile were I head of FEMA by now I'd be starting to worry there is some sort of divine smiting going on, and wondering what sacrifice would placate the various deities...
  #22  
Old 10-11-2017, 12:34 AM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
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Santa Rosan here. I lost power for more than a day, but it doen't look like I'll have to evacuate. Air quality's not that good though, I'm definitely keeping the windows closed and wearing a breath mask outside.

My brother is closer to the fires; first he knew about it was when he woke up and the sky was all red. While it doesn't look like he'll have to evacuate, his main workplace, a school burned to the ground.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:36 PM
mind the gap mind the gap is offline
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In Sonoma at this moment, the air quality is crappy. We've trapped Ms. Kitty in the house and are at the office. Potential evacs just to the north of us and the concern is wind picking up/shifting later in the day. Tons of fuel load between us and the fire. Ready to bug out, but hopeful. Fair amount of local traffic, but lots of business closed. I see quite a few people using masks even when driving.
It's weird not knowing what's happening, all we can do is stay ready and hope for the best.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:57 PM
Jumpbass Jumpbass is offline
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Nothing has changed for me here in Napa. The nearest fire seems to be heading away from us, but it's still scary at night when you can actually see the flames and the glow. We remain ready to leave if we must, but I still doubt we will have to unless the wind really gets rolling like Sunday night.

I have personal good news, though. My sister's house in the hills to the east is fine. The firefighters kept the fires away from the four or five houses on her drive. My parents were over for dinner last night when she called. She was in tears with relief.

Her son's house in Santa Rosa was spared, too. The neighborhood next to him was completely decimated, but his got spared.

Power has been restored to almost all of the city of Napa as well as Yountville. We also have cell service today. It's a bit wimpy, but working.

The Atlas fire (the one near me) has six tanker planes working on it; the most for any fire in the state right now. I understand that every available fire fighting aircraft in the country is in California right now.

Air quality sucks. I've developed a bit of a cough, but I'll be fine. They evacuated 80 residents of the Veteran's Home in Yountville with respiratory problems out of the county.

I have a gig in Sacramento tonight. I have mixed feelings about being so far from home, but as a musician, I need to earn when I can. My wife's work isn't open, so she's not earning, as well as my day gig teaching. Actually, it will be theraputic to go play some music, if I can clear my mind enough.

Sorry my posts are so long. It's a bit cathartic getting all this out.
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Old 10-11-2017, 01:19 PM
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Glad to hear some good news.
And your posts are definitely not too long! Pretty damn pithy, I think.
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Old 10-11-2017, 01:19 PM
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Jumpbass, hey man, keep posting. Your reports are helping us too. I hope playing at your gig gives you some much needed emotional relief. Staying at the "peak danger" mode can really take a toll on your health.

I'm not saying one disaster is easier than another, but if someone made me choose between a wildfire and a hurricane, I'd take the hurricane. Fires freak me out, they move so fast and can change course in minutes. Very, very deadly. Prayers for the people missing, may they all be safely accounted for soon. What a nightmare.
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:06 PM
Asimovian Asimovian is offline
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Thirding support for continued updates from Jumpbass.

Meanwhile, WaPo is reporting there are at least 21 fatalities, now.
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:21 PM
Rhiannon8404 Rhiannon8404 is offline
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Thanks for the update, Jumpbass! If I wasn't working the closing shift tonight, I'd try to catch your gig. Where are you playing?
  #29  
Old 10-11-2017, 03:23 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Originally Posted by Jumpbass View Post
Nothing has changed for me here in Napa. The nearest fire seems to be heading away from us, but it's still scary at night when you can actually see the flames and the glow. We remain ready to leave if we must, but I still doubt we will have to unless the wind really gets rolling like Sunday night.

I have personal good news, though. My sister's house in the hills to the east is fine. The firefighters kept the fires away from the four or five houses on her drive. My parents were over for dinner last night when she called. She was in tears with relief.

Her son's house in Santa Rosa was spared, too. The neighborhood next to him was completely decimated, but his got spared.

Power has been restored to almost all of the city of Napa as well as Yountville. We also have cell service today. It's a bit wimpy, but working.

The Atlas fire (the one near me) has six tanker planes working on it; the most for any fire in the state right now. I understand that every available fire fighting aircraft in the country is in California right now.

Air quality sucks. I've developed a bit of a cough, but I'll be fine. They evacuated 80 residents of the Veteran's Home in Yountville with respiratory problems out of the county.

I have a gig in Sacramento tonight. I have mixed feelings about being so far from home, but as a musician, I need to earn when I can. My wife's work isn't open, so she's not earning, as well as my day gig teaching. Actually, it will be theraputic to go play some music, if I can clear my mind enough.

Sorry my posts are so long. It's a bit cathartic getting all this out.
That's not a long post. In fact, just about perfect. Keep us posted and stay safe. I hope you gig works out well tonight, and that it also helps you get your mind off things!!
  #30  
Old 10-11-2017, 03:26 PM
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is offline
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Some kid posted a video of his wandering through the ruins of Cardinal Newman High School and saying, "At least the football field isn't damaged." Dumbass.

I'm east of Sacramento, about a hundred miles from the Santa Rosa and Napa fires and about the same distance from the Oroville fire and about seventy miles from two other fires between here and Oroville, and the sky is yellow from smoke.
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
Thirding support for continued updates.
Fourthing. Real news is hard to come by, I really appreciate what you can share. I grew up in Vallejo; the burned areas weren’t my home, but are certainly places I knew well and cared about.
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:43 PM
Dr. Drake Dr. Drake is offline
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Some kid posted a video of his wandering through the ruins of Cardinal Newman High School and saying, "At least the football field isn't damaged." Dumbass.

I'm east of Sacramento, about a hundred miles from the Santa Rosa and Napa fires and about the same distance from the Oroville fire and about seventy miles from two other fires between here and Oroville, and the sky is yellow from smoke.
I graduated from Cardinal Newman. The attitude (and the depth of thought behind it) are pretty familiar. I think I was the only male student enrolled who wasn't on at least one sports team.

Still sad to see the destruction: the library was crap, but I spent a lot of time there.
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Old 10-11-2017, 04:02 PM
Jumpbass Jumpbass is offline
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Thanks everyone for the support. It means a lot to me. There isn't always a lot of news.
Just waiting.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiannon8404 View Post
Thanks for the update, Jumpbass! If I wasn't working the closing shift tonight, I'd try to catch your gig. Where are you playing?

I'm playing at the Straw Hat Pizza in Rancho Cordova from 6:30-8:30. Dixieland jazz with a really amazing group of players. I'll be the guy in back with the bass and tuba smelling vaguely like smoke.

Last edited by Jumpbass; 10-11-2017 at 04:04 PM.
  #34  
Old 10-11-2017, 05:08 PM
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Mrs. Gap and I just left the office with her files and computers. Fires are about 3 miles from the office as the crow flies. People in the northern area of Aqua Caliente (just north of Sonoma proper) are leaving. Smoke is heavy and ash is floating down. Everyone's keeping each other updated, the UPS guy knows more than almost everyone 'cause he's tried to deliver there.
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:13 PM
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is offline
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Mrs. Gap and I just left the office with her files and computers. Fires are about 3 miles from the office as the crow flies. People in the northern area of Aqua Caliente (just north of Sonoma proper) are leaving. Smoke is heavy and ash is floating down. Everyone's keeping each other updated, the UPS guy knows more than almost everyone 'cause he's tried to deliver there.
Be safe.

There's talk of evacuating parts of Fairfield.
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:31 PM
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Saw satellite photos on the news this morning. These fires can be seen from space.

We had fires come nearby when I lived in Simi Valley, not the worst year, and it was mainly brush, not a lot of trees in that area. This situation looks far, far worse, the smoke alone threatening people's health. Hope this will be over soon.
  #37  
Old 10-11-2017, 06:35 PM
Sunny Daze Sunny Daze is online now
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Last I heard the suggestion is to leave if you've been advised to be ready (prep a go bag with meds and docs, locate your animals). There are concerns that the fires are unpredictable and roads will get jammed. Leave if you can is the word.
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:37 PM
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Some kid posted a video of his wandering through the ruins of Cardinal Newman High School and saying, "At least the football field isn't damaged." Dumbass.

I'm east of Sacramento, about a hundred miles from the Santa Rosa and Napa fires and about the same distance from the Oroville fire and about seventy miles from two other fires between here and Oroville, and the sky is yellow from smoke.
I live in Fremont, 85 miles south of Santa Rosa, and the smoke is so heavy that I can't see the hills that surround us. No one in the Bay Area can see the sun today.

The last report I heard was 21 fatalities and 3500 homes and businesses destroyed. But most of the fatalities have been found near the smaller fires. And containment is in the single digits at best.
  #39  
Old 10-11-2017, 06:53 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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I live in Fremont, 85 miles south of Santa Rosa, and the smoke is so heavy that I can't see the hills that surround us. No one in the Bay Area can see the sun today.
It's really bad where I live today, too, but I feel bad complaining about it since we're more or less unscathed. We had something similar last year with the Soberanes fire down near Big Sur. They are still recovering from that fire with the Pfeifer Bridge set to open just this week.
  #40  
Old 10-11-2017, 07:17 PM
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They’re evacuating the entire town of Calistoga.
http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/cal...178234181.html
  #41  
Old 10-11-2017, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumpbass
I'm playing at the Straw Hat Pizza in Rancho Cordova from 6:30-8:30. Dixieland jazz with a really amazing group of players. I'll be the guy in back with the bass and tuba smelling vaguely like smoke.
Good thing you'll have a tuba as right now, we all smell like smoke!

I'm in northern Vallejo near Hwy 29, almost in AmCan, actually, and the smoke here has been about as bad as anywhere, save for Fairfield - a friend up there opened his door yesterday morning to get the paper and his smoke alarms went off.
  #42  
Old 10-11-2017, 08:38 PM
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And the most bizarre video of the day (or ever) - USPS delivering to burned out homes.

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/1...a-coffey-park/
  #43  
Old 10-11-2017, 08:40 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Watched a drone video today(sorry, don't remember the link) and felt as though I was viewing a video of neighborhoods in Hiroshima after the atomic bomb burned everything to the ground. Looked just the same. Hope they get it under control soon.
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:50 PM
arles arles is offline
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And the most bizarre video of the day (or ever) - USPS delivering to burned out homes.

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/1...a-coffey-park/

Missed the edit window. The Mercury News website is garbage.
Here is the original video posted to youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wsegE01zUE
  #45  
Old 10-11-2017, 10:08 PM
Hedda Rosa Hedda Rosa is offline
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Rincon Valley in Santa Rosa here, near the middle school. Have been under mandatory evacuation since Monday.

The house is still there but only by the merest chance - the fire stopped just a few hundred yards to the west on one side and to the northeast on the other. Many friends and neighbors are completely burned out with nothing to return to except a chimney. Its kind of astonishing how houses are just absolutely flattened - no framing or walls left, just completely burned. Schools are out for the rest of the week and who knows yet about next week if they can't get the Oakmont and Bennett Valley fires under control soon.

What the TV shows of the devastation doesn't begin to convey how horrible it is. And the air quality is terrible as well. Once the actual danger dies down the worry becomes looters, and there have been lots of reports of fake cops going door to door telling people to evacuate, so that the empty houses can be looted.

The worst part is how hard it is to get any info about where the fires are and which direction they are heading and how fast they are moving. The uncertainty is difficult. On the other hand the community is coming together in really inspiring ways, and it'll be a long hard rebuilding process we'll all have to go through.

Stay safe everyone.
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Last edited by Hedda Rosa; 10-11-2017 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:31 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is offline
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This afternoon there were ashes falling from the sky outside my house. I live in El Cerrito, about 40 miles from Santa Rosa as the crow flies.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:43 PM
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We had a fine layer of ash on the car here in Citrus Heights.
  #48  
Old 10-11-2017, 10:48 PM
JackieLikesVariety JackieLikesVariety is offline
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fake cops going door to door telling people to evacuate, so that the empty houses can be looted.
that's really low
  #49  
Old 10-11-2017, 11:38 PM
Bone Bone is offline
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My kids school just canceled tomorrow. I'm 60 miles or so away.

I have family members in 4 separate houses that evacuated yesterday. From the cal fire map, their houses are directly in between two of the larger fires in Santa Rosa. They will be fine, but I'm pretty skeptical about the houses.

Sucky.
  #50  
Old 10-11-2017, 11:50 PM
Gatopescado Gatopescado is offline
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Location: on your last raw nerve
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Tahoe basin filled with smoke. Also east, over the crest into the Carson Valley. High winds all day long. THE SUCK!
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