4,400 evacuated: flames spread 365 hectares in Lake Sonoma

4,400 evacuated: flames spread 365 hectares in Lake Sonoma
4,400 evacuated: flames spread 365 hectares in Lake Sonoma

4:15 p.m.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation warning for 2E3 located west of Healdsburg and just south of 2E2, which was placed under an evacuation order Sunday afternoon.

A “small army of officers” are at 2E2 knocking on doors and removing people from the area, Deputy Brandon Jones said around 4 p.m.

The area includes Fall Creek Road, southwest of Lake Sonoma and southeast of Bella Vineyards on West Dry Creek Road.

So far the evacuations are going well, he added.

The evacuated areas are sparsely populated and include vineyards and rural properties.

The fire, last reported, is encroaching on some rural residential locations along West Dry Creek Road, James said.

3:50 p.m.

Four helicopters are taking on water near the Warm Springs Dam area on Lake Sonoma to fight the fire and prevent it from spreading to West Dry Creek Road.

Crews from the Santa Rosa Fire Department and hand crews from the California Department of Corrections are on scene.

3:30 pm.

Mandatory evacuations are being ordered for homes and businesses believed to be in the path of a wind-driven wildfire that burned at least 100 acres Sunday near Lake Sonoma.

The evacuation order covers rural homes and businesses, such as wineries, northwest of Healdsburg on West Dry Creek Road, north of Stang Road, according to a Nixle alert issued by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.

The stretch is southeast of Lake Sonoma, where the fire was reported around 12:30 p.m. on Stewarts Point-Skaggs Springs Road near Marina Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The fire, called the Point Fire, had grown to at least 100 acres by 3 p.m., according to Cal Fire.

Containment was at 15%, Cal Fire spokesman Jason Clay said shortly before 3 p.m.

The fire initially threatened three buildings, but they were no longer in danger, he said.

Clay added that no injuries have been reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Nick Malasavage, chief of operations and preparedness for the Golden Gate Division of the US Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees the Lake Sonoma Recreation Area, estimated that about 100 visitors were evacuated from the lake in the vicinity of the fire.

Northwest winds carried smoke toward Santa Rosa, where a fog had formed by 3:30 p.m., turning the afternoon sun a burnt orange. Winds in the area were about 25 mph, with higher gusts, especially at higher elevations.

Sustained winds and gusts up to 30 mph are expected to persist through Sunday night, when they will weaken and humidity will increase.

Parts of the region, including northeast Sonoma County, Lake and Napa counties, are under red flag warnings on Sunday, indicating the risk of severe fires.

Sunday’s fire is east of where a 20-acre fire burned Friday afternoon in Lake Sonoma. In that incident, the flames spread from a controlled burn and were mostly contained within two hours.

There have been no reports of injuries or damage.

Local temperatures are around 80 degrees and parts of Napa and Lake counties are under red flag warnings due to windy and dry conditions.

There have been a number of fire calls this weekend, particularly on Saturday in Sonoma County.

Three small fires prompted many calls Saturday afternoon, emergency operators said.

Two fires detected in the vicinity of Sonoma and Schell Vista – one shortly after noon Saturday and the other shortly before 3:30 pm – were extinguished upon arrival by firefighters.

The previous fire, at Wood Valley Road and Lovell Canyon Road, burned a 10-foot by 20-foot area.

The second, a roadside fire on Stage Gulch Road, burned an area 100 feet by 100 feet, said officials with Redcom, the county’s emergency dispatch center.

A larger fire in western Sonoma County, in the 8400 block of Ross Station Road, was reported at 5:42 p.m.

Firefighters from Gold Ridge Fire Protection District, CalFire, Sonoma County Fire District and Graton Fire Department stopped the fire from advancing 15 minutes later to one-third of an acre.

This is a developing story.

Staff writer Jeremy Hay contributed to this report.

You can contact staff writer Colin Atagi at [email protected]. On Twitter @colin_atagi

 
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