Join

Enter Details

Comment on stories, receive email newsletters & alerts.

@
This is your permanent identity for Business Insider Australia
Your email must be valid for account activation
Minimum of 8 standard keyboard characters

Subscribe

Email newsletters but will contain a brief summary of our top stories and news alerts.

Forgotten Password

Enter Details


Back to log in

Photos show how wildfires are ravaging parts of California's wine country

Napa sonoma santa rosa fire wildfire 2017Justin Sullivan/GettyA Los Angeles County firefighter monitors approching flames near a building as an out-of-control wildfire moves through the area on October 9, 2017 in Yountville, California.

California wildfires have created apocalyptic scenes in wine country, where firefighters were still battling blazes on Wednesday morning. Two of the largest fires were 0% contained.

A series of massive wildfires spread through the counties of Napa, Sonoma, and at least six others early this week, destroying at least 2,000 homes, businesses, and other structures, and sending residents fleeing for their lives in the middle of the night. Strong, dry winds continue to hamper firefighters’ efforts.

At least 21 people are dead, and another 180 people are reported missing in Sonoma County alone. Local officials describe the death toll as a “fluid number,” as law enforcement officers uncover human remains in the rubble. The situation is considered one of the deadliest fires in state history.

An inferno called the Tubbs Fire has burned more than 27,000 acres in and around the city of Santa Rosa, according to the Cal Fire website. The Atlas Fire in Napa has charred an additional 25,000 acres. Residents and public officials won’t know the full extent of the damage until evacuation orders have been lifted.

These photos show the devastating impact of the fires.

We will continue to update this story throughout the day.

A series of wildfires ravaging pieces of Northern California's wine country is being called one of the worst firestorms in state history. The largest blazes hit Napa and Sonoma.

Fire conumes a barn as an out of control wildfire moves through the area. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There is the city of Napa and the county of Napa, considered the holy grail of wine country. It's home to more than 400 wineries, with many packed side by side along State Route 29.

Sonoma County stretches across nine cities and is three times the area of Napa County.

Justin Sullivan/Getty
An out of control wildfire approaches Gundlach Bundschu winery on in Sonoma, California, on October 9, 2017.

California's lesser-known wine destination was named the best small town to visit in America -- take a look »

On Monday, videos and photos on social media showed fires burning out of control in Sonoma and Napa, moving through vegetation, buildings, roads, and mobile-home parks.

An estimated 20,000 people in Northern California have been evacuated.

Emergency shelters are popping up across Northern California. Jack Tibbetts, vice-mayor of Santa Rosa, told Business Insider that the shelters are reaching capacity quickly.

Ben Pederson looks at what remains of his bedroom after his family's home was destroyed by wildfire in Santa Rosa, California. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

There are nearly two dozens shelters for fire evacuees in Sonoma County alone. Tibbetts stressed that safety is the number one priority for local officials and public servants.

'I think local officials' objective is evacuating everybody, more so than it is about protection of property,' Tibbetts, who fled his home in Santa Rosa around 3 a.m. on Monday, said.

As many as seven fires ignited on Sunday night and grew as hot, dry winds -- with gusts of up to 70 miles per hour -- carried the flames from ridge top to ridge top in Napa.

Firefighters from Cal Fire's Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit pay close attention to the wildfire coming at every direction in Kelso Valley as the wildfire progresses east with the winds. Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

'Literally, in a two-to-three-hour period, we had seven different counties affected by fire all at once,' Deputy Chief Bret Gouvea of Cal Fire told the San Francisco Chronicle. 'And not just ordinary fires. Because of those wind conditions, these fires got out of hand very quickly.'

Firefighters attempt to save a burning house during the Valley fire in Seigler Springs, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Residents speaking to local media outlets described 'fleeing for their lives in the middle of the night from the fire, in cars or on foot.' Many left with only the clothes on their backs.

Getty Images
A resident rushes to save his home as a wildfire moves through the area in Glen Ellen, California, on Monday, October 9, 2017.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

In Napa, guests of the Silverado Resort and Spa were sleeping when an order to evacuate came on over the loudspeaker. The power went out as the flames crept closer.


'It was surreal,' Chris Thomas, who arrived at the resort on Sunday with his wife for a wine-tasting trip, told the San Francisco Chronicle. 'When I started loading stuff into the car it was a hell-storm of smoke and ash. There were 30 to 40 mph winds. I couldn't even breathe.'

The PGA Tour's season-opening event ended Sunday at the resort.

'The fire has burned all the way through the Silverado Country Club,' Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann said during a press conference on Monday. Here's the aftermath.


Source: LA Times

Two of the victims who were identified on Tuesday, Charles Rippey, 100, and his wife Sarah, 98, wed 75 years ago. They died trying to escape their home at the Silverado Resort.

A tent structure built for the 2017 Safeway Open burns on a golf course at the Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Source: Associated Press

Santa Rosa, the largest city in Sonoma County, appears to be hit the hardest.

Justin Sullivan/Getty
Smoke continues to rise from the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country in Santa Rosa, California, on October 9, 2017.

A Kmart store on Cleveland Avenue in Santa Rosa was engulfed in flames on Monday.

The Hilton Sonoma Wine Country hotel was among the scores of buildings destroyed.

A cluster of single-family homes in Santa Rosa's Coffey Park neighbourhood has largely turned to ash. About 8,000 people lived in Coffey Park and a neighbouring subdivision.

A view of hundreds of homes in the Coffey Park neighborhood that were destroyed. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Before-and-after photo shows the devastation of fires raging through California's wine country »

The destruction was widespread. Near the Silverado Trail, a winery in Napa Valley burned.

Multimillion-dollar homes in and around the Silverado Country Club were destroyed.

Brad Turley and Charisse Desmarais look through the remants of her mother's home in the Silverado Community. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Source: Los Angeles Times

Flames climbed the ivy-covered walls of the Signorello Estate winery, located on the Silverado Trail, until it eventually collapsed. It was one of a handful of wineries that burned.

Justin Sullivan/Getty
The remains of the Signarello Estate winery are seen in Napa, California, on October 9, 2017.

Before-and-after photos show how California's wineries have been devastated by fires »

Entire neighbourhoods in Santa Rosa were leveled.

David McNew/Getty
A neighbourhood destroyed by fire in the area of Foxtail Court in Santa Rosa, California, is seen on October 10, 2017.

The scenes are apocalyptic.

Ezra Shaw/Getty
A view of the remains of homes that were destroyed by the Atlas Fire in Napa, California, on October 10, 2017.

Satellite images provide a view of the devastation from above.


The cause of the fires remained under investigation on Wednesday morning.

A stump continues to burn in a neighborhood destroyed by fire near Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa, California. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown of California issued a state of emergency for Napa, Sonoma, and Yuba counties -- a declaration that called the California National Guard into action.

Homeowner Martha Marquez looks over her burned home in Santa Rosa, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Source: ABC 7 News and LA Times

Mandatory evacuations remain in place in some areas.


It alarmed some residents, who suspected the flames reached much closer to San Francisco. Many posted on social media, and others called emergency responders.


Source: San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Fire Department posted this from its official Twitter account.


A meteorologist with the National Weather Service told The Mercury News that strong winds are responsible for blowing the smell of smoke from the north to the Bay Area.

We will continue to update this post throughout the day.

A car destroyed by the Tubbs Fire Napa, California. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Image)

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.