Death Toll Up To 21 In Wine Country Fires, Evacuations Expand, Chilling Warning From Fire Chief, “It Will Merge Into Massive Fire”

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The death toll rose to 21 in the devastating wildfires in Northern California wine country and surrounding communities, as officials feared that even larger conflagrations might be formed by merging fires.   New evacuations were ordered Wednesday afternoon amid a return of gusty winds and red flag conditions,  stoking fires that are already among the worst in the state’s history.

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In Mendocino County, mandatory evacuations were ordered for the Potter Valley where two fires, the Redwood and Potter fires, have already merged.

In Napa County, a mandatory evacuation order was issued for the City of Calistoga.  Solano County authorities urged residents of Fairfield’s Eastridge Development to evacuate, and encouraged residents of the Rancho Solano development to pack a bag of essentials and be prepared to move.

 

In Sonoma County, mandatory evacuations were in effect in Geyserville, from Highway 128 east to River Rock Casino, and south on 128 to Geysers Road up to Cal Pine. An advisory evacuation was also issued for most of Boyes Hot Springs.

 

The Solano County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation advisory for a rural area west of Vacaville, telling residents on the west side of Pleasants Valley Road between Highway 128 and Mix Canyon road to prepare a “go bag.”

 

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In a chilling warning earlier Wednesday, the head of Cal Fire said he anticipated that at least the two major fires ablaze in the Napa Valley will merge into a single massive fire.

 

Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott told reporters the wildfires were a “critical, serious, catastrophic event” and then he issued the warning.

 

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
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