What to Know
- The Kincade Fire has burned about 16,000 acres in Sonoma County
- Evacuation orders have been issued for about 2,000 people in and around Geyserville
- The blaze has destroyed 49 structures
A wind-whipped wildfire in rural Sonoma County near the Lake County line has burned about 16,000 acres, destroyed at least 49 structures and prompted mandatory evacuations, officials said Thursday.
The Kincade Fire, which was 5% contained as of 7 p.m. Thursday, broke out about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in the area of John Kincade and Burned Mountain roads, northeast of Geyserville, Cal Fire said. Flames fanned by about 60 mph wind gusts triggered evacuation orders for about 2,000 people in and around the community of Geyserville.
Kincade Fire Rips Through Rural Sonoma County
Twenty-one homes were among the structures destroyed, Cal Fire said late Thursday night. No injuries or missing persons have been reported.
According to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, evacuation orders remained in place Thursday evening for the following areas:
- All of Geyserville
- Geysers Road to Highway 128
- Pine Flat Road
- Red Winery Road
- Alexander Mountain Road
- Highway 128 from Geysers Road to River Road including the casino
- All roads off River Road
Evacuation centers have been set up at Windsor High School, 8695 Windsor Rd., and Healdsburg Community Center, 1557 Healdsburg Ave., the sheriff's office said.
The cause of the blaze was not yet known, but strong, dry winds with gusts of up to 70 mph have affected much of the state, including the Kincade Fire zone.
Winds slowed after daybreak, helping firefighters get a handle on the blaze, but it was still growing, said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Jonathan Cox.
Two other fires broke out in the North Bay Thursday morning. A small blaze burned about three acres in Annadel State Park in Sonoma County. Another fire charred 45 acres near Slide Ranch in Marin County.
High fire danger across the state prompted PG&E to proactively shut off power Wednesday and Thursday to parts of 17 counties across Northern and Central California. The shutoffs are designed to keep gusty winds from knocking branches into power lines or toppling them, sparking wildfires.
PG&E said the Kincade Fire is "near" the areas impacted by its planned power shutoffs.
PG&E filed for bankruptcy protection in January as it faced billions of dollars of damages from wildfires sparked by its equipment that have killed scores of people and destroyed thousands of homes over the past couple of years. The investor-owned energy company has set aside billions of dollars for insurance companies and wildfire victims while facing a public backlash over its handling of the incidents.
The four schools closed in Santa Rosa on Thursday were expected to be back in session Friday, the district said.
The following school closures, prompted by the Kincade Fire and the planned PG&E power shutoffs, were announced for Friday:
- Alexander Valley School District
- Geyserville Unified School District
- Kashia School District
The Associated Press contributed to this report.