Kincade Fire grows to 16,000 acres, 5% contained

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GEYSERVILLE (KRON) – Hundreds of people were forced to flee their homes overnight as the fast-moving Kincade Fire raged through part of Sonoma County.

The fire broke out at 9:47 p.m. Wednesday night near the Geysers Geothermal Plant, according to CAL Fire.

The entire town of Geyserville is under a mandatory evacuation order due to the wildfire driven by strong winds.

During a 7 p.m. briefing Thursday night, CAL Fire said the Kincade Fire has burned 16,000 and is five percent contained.

The blaze has destroyed at least 49 structures.

There have been no reports of missing persons or fatalities so far.

The unincorporated area north of Healdsburg is under an evacuation warning. Residents should be prepared to leave, according to CAL Fire.

KRON4’s Sara Stinson says she’s seen at least a dozen homes that have burned in Geyserville.

Stinson counted ten or twelve homes that were gone while driving along Red Winery Road and Geysers Road.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries.

California Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Jonathan Cox says winds that gusted as high as 70 mph overnight have eased slightly since dawn on Thursday. That could help firefighters.

It’s not clear whether the area was also affected by the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. utility’s pre-emptive power shutoffs put in place to prevent the company’s equipment from sparking fires.

Significant resources from across the region are responding, including 6 hand crews, 2 water tenders, 53 engines, 3 dozers and 8 air tankers.

According to CAL Fire, there are 500 firefighters battling this blaze along with aircraft overhead.

Alameda County Firefighters are reportedly assisting with the fire, according to their Twitter page.

Fire officials said Thursday afternoon that they expect the Kincade Fire to grow.

Evacuation Orders

Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick says about 2,000 people are under evacuation orders due to the Kincade Fire.

An estimated 1,700 people are in the evacuation warning areas.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for the following areas:

  • Entire town of Geyserville
  • Cloverdale Geysers Rd
  • Geysers Rd
  • Red Winery Rd
  • Alexander Mountain Rd
  • Pine Flat Rd
  • All roads east of Hwy 128 to Geyserville

An evacuation warning remains in effect for the area north of Healdsburg – that means be prepared for an evacuation.

Evacuation Centers

The following evacuation centers have been set up to assist those affected by the fire:

  • Healdsburg Community Center – 1557 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg CA 95448 (people and small animals with parking for livestock trailers)
  • Sonoma County Fairgrounds – 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa (large animals only)
  • Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building – 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa (people and small animals)
  • Windsor High School – 8695 Windsor Road, Windsor (people and small animals)

Fire driven by dry winds, increasing wind gusts

Current winds are whipping between 70 and 75 mph, fueling the fast-growing fire.

Officials say winds have died down significantly as of noon Thursday, but because of the rugged terrain, low humidity and heat, containment remains a great challenge.

Road Closures

  • Hwy 128 & Geyserville Ave
  • Pine Flat Rd & Red Winery Rd
  • Geysers Rd & Red Winery Rd
  • Hwy 128 & Moody Ln
  • Hwy 128 & Geysers Rd
  • Geysers Rd & River Rd
  • Hwy 128 & Alexander Valley Rd
  • Hwy 128 & Pine Flat Rd
  • Hwy 128 & Railroad Ave
  • Lytton Station Rd & Lytton Springs Rd
  • Healdsburg Ave & Alexander Valley Rd

School Closures

  • All schools in Cloverdale Unified School District
  • All schools in Healdsburg Unified School District
  • All schools in Alexander Valley School District
  • All schools in Cloverdale Unified School District
  • All schools in Geyserville Unified School District
  • Rincon Valley Unified School District, specific schools only:
    – Whited Elementary
    – Binkley Elementary
    – Madrone Elementary
    – Sequoia Elementary
    – Rincon Valley Charter School – Sequoia Campus
    – Austin Creek Elementary
  • Santa Rosa City Schools District, specific schools only:
    – Hidden Valley Elementary
    – Santa Rosa Accelerated Charter
    – Rincon Valley Middle
    – Maria Carrillo High School

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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