SANTA ROSA – Holding strong winds, they fear they will ignite the rapidly expanding Kincade fire, authorities have been fervently praying with residents in evacuation zones – now stretching all the way to the shores of Sonoma County – to leave their homes until there is still time.  "We have a lot of work in our hands and we won't get people door-to-door," Sheriff Mark Esick told a news conference Saturday night. "It really is a selfish act to stay home."
Overall, more than 90,000 people were ordered to evacuate the fire zone, which was expanded on Saturday afternoon to add 39,000 to the population.
According to Cal Fire, mandatory evacuation areas now include the Dry Creek Valley, including the top of Westside Road and Mill Creek Road; Larfield and Mark West drainage; and all areas west of Healdsburg and Windsor, throughout the Russian River Valley to Bodega Bay.
Evacuation warnings ̵
Later Saturday evening, additional evacuation warnings were added for the northern third of Santa Rosa, bounded south on Guerneville Road and continuing along Steele Lane, Lewis Road and Chanate Road, from Montesito Avenue to Montesito Boulevard. The area includes Coffey Park and the Fountaingrove neighborhoods that were devastated by the fire in 2017.
As of Saturday evening, the fire had consumed 25 955 acres and was up 11 percent. No injuries have been reported so far, though 77 structures, including 31 homes, have been destroyed and 14 damaged. Authorities say 23,500 structures are considered to be at risk of fire.
National Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Walbron said that by midnight a "very strong collapse" of "exceptional" northeast winds could strike in the area of northeast northeast of Geyserville.
Walbrun said the region should prepare for "a long-lasting event that will blow through most of the night and Sunday afternoon with very little wind speed recovery."
Cal Fire analyst Stephen Volmer said that computer modeling predicts "hazardous propagation rates" and "very large flame lengths."
"We will see that these speeds increase dramatically, and fire behavior increases dramatically," he said.
Cox added that fire lines were dug as part of an "aggressive ground attack to build a containment line for the expected wind event."
Cal Fire Chief Jonathan Cox emphasized, as did others, that those making evacuation calls endanger themselves and the first responders to be sent to rescue them. He noted that even more than 2,800 well-equipped firefighters will be significantly hampered by an explosion that can be blown by gusts of up to 80 mph.
"The intensity of a fire can overwhelm even the professionals." Cox said.
In issuing evacuation warnings for Santa Rosa and other areas heavily affected by the Tubbs fire, Esick cited the incident two years ago as a reason to take the warnings seriously:
"In October 2017, we lost 24 lives in Sonoma County because we had no warning. Now we have a warning … You can't fight this. Please evacuate. If you are under an evacuation order, you must leave. "
County Superintendent David Rabit joined the chorus.
" This event, unlike in 2017, we've had, and it still has time, "he said. "Evacuations are not suggestions. If you are in an evacuation zone, you are in danger. "
Officials at Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital responded to this call and cleared the facility Saturday night after recent orders placed them on the brink of a mandatory evacuation zone. The hospital was forced to do the same two years ago by putting down the fire in the pipes.
Hospital spokesman Sean Ralston said 97 evacuated patients, including eight babies, were treated in the intensive care unit for newborns.
"They" are all relatively healthy, "Ralston says of the babies.
In a darkened dome within the hospital's view, 64-year-old Gary White is the last resident left in the Mark West Village, a unit built a year ago. White considered himself the "unofficial" mayor of development and said he wanted to ensure that his neighbors were evacuated safely before he left.
By 10:00 am Saturday, that time had come, just as MPs were moving through, horns across
"It's a strange night," White said. "I lived through a pipe fire and wanted to protect my neighbors."
Not far away, the sheriff's office was transporting prisoners to its second The North County Jail detention facility, south of Windsor, 90 miles south to Alameda County Prison in Santa Rita County, Dublin County.
All prisoners in the North County Detention Center in Santa Rosa were evacuated and housed safely in Alameda County.
– Sheriff Sonoma (@sonomasheriff) October 27, 2019
Esik said everyone in Hildsburg and 95 percent in Windsor received evacuation notices. All that could be seen in Healdsburg were local police patrolling the streets, flooded with patrol units sent by agencies including San Francisco and San Bruno.
The calm memory of the wine fires in 2017 is intertwined with the efforts to evict people
“We take extreme precautions and make aggressive evacuation decisions based on the forecast. We provide defense to communities that may be affected, "Cox said. "Only successful if the evacuated public leaves the area."
Pat Sherman, 68, and her husband, Craig Olison, 67, who have lived in Windsor for 20 years, arrived at the Veterans Hall parking lot from the Petaluma Memorial at the shelter Saturday afternoon, where they planned to stay during the evacuation.
The couple has three big dogs – Keith, Ronnie and Cookie – and said he could sleep in the car tonight because the pet room in the hall seemed limited. They tried unsuccessfully to rent a room at a motel in Santa Rosa, with one manager telling them there was a limit for two dogs. The couple evacuated as a precaution during a fire in the tubes.
"I hope it stays," Alison said of her home. "I like to visualize how to get back on the lane."
"I could put on a happy face, it's very easy," Sherman said. "But when it comes down to it, I might lose my home, my memories of my parents, everyone. And you can't return that. "
Check back for updates on this story.
Staff writer Nico Savage contributed to this report.
FIRE KINCAD EMERGENCY CENTERS
- Sanatoriums, 19659042] 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa, CA 95404
- Veterans Memorial of Santa Rosa, Beld., 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95404
- Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, 175 Fairgrounds Rd., Petaluma, CA. 94952
- Petaluma Veterans Center, 1094 Petaluma Blvd., Petaluma, CA 94952
- Large Animal Evacuation Site: Santa Rosa Fairgrounds