Finally, Some Good News: Fires Increasingly Contained

Most North Bay fires are at least 50 percent contained as some evacuated victims return home.

A plume of smoke rises over Journey’s End mobile home park in Santa Rosa, Calif. Monday, October 9, 2017 as multiple fires break out across Sonoma, Napa and other North Bay counties. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

Through everyone’s new N95 masks, Bay Area residents can breathe a sigh of relief to new containment numbers updated by Cal Fire officials.

As of Monday morning, the Atlas Fire in Napa and Sonoma counties is 68 percent contained — calculated by how much of the fire is kept within a perimeter — and has burned 51,064 acres.

To put that in perspective, Golden Gate Park is just over 1,000 acres.

The Nuns Fire — now merged with the Adobe, Norbbom, Pressley and Partrick fires — is 50 percent contained and has scorched 48,627 acres. The Tubbs Fire is 70 percent contained after reaching 36,390 acres.

Another Sonoma County fire, Pocket Fire, burned 11,889 acres and is 40 percent contained.

A new fire near Oakmont that began on Saturday is just 15 percent contained and has burned 875 acres. Cal Fire reports the Oakmont Fire is heading north with a “moderate rate of spread.”

Some of the 41 who died in the fires have been identified as more than 40,000 people remain evacuated. Many evacuation orders have been lifted and more are being reevaluated.

North Bay officials are speaking publicly with optimism as the fires reached a turning point, Bay City News reports. 

“A week ago this started as a nightmare,” says Napa County Board of Supervisors chair Belia Ramos. “The day we have dreamed of has arrived.”

Aiding the path to recovery is expected rain in most North Bay late Thursday until Friday morning and little wind to fuel the fires,  National Weather Service spokesperson Scott Rowe says. The area will collect only up to a few tenths of an inch of rain, but as Rowe says, “we’ll take anything.”

Most of the Bay Area now has an Air Quality Index of 96, which is considered moderate. Oakland, its northern neighbors, and cities near the airport are considered unhealthy for sensitive groups as of Monday morning.

Long after the fires are out, recovery efforts will still be underway. For those still looking to donate or volunteer in the weeks to come, California’s office of volunteers posted a list of how to do so on its website.

 

 

 

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