Sonoma County

Structure Fire Spreads to Grass, Prompts Evacuations in Petaluma Area

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A fire in the Petaluma area triggered an evacuation order Tuesday afternoon, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.

A 2500-square-foot home, engulfed in flames on the 400 block of Ormsby Lane, sent up black smoke seen for miles around. The fire quickly spreading to grass, and then into eucalyptus trees.

"It very quickly went to a three alarm fire." said firefighters "We knew we had that need because of the winds and the very dry conditions."

A woman broke out a garden hose to try and stop the spread. She was joined by six fire agencies, while the Sonoma County Office of Emergency Services worked with law enforcement to evacuate 900 homes.

The evacuation order applied to Zone 5K1, which includes the area north of Corona Road, south of Old Redwood Highway, east of Petaluma city limits and west of Adobe Road.

A fire in the Petaluma area triggered an evacuation order Tuesday afternoon.

"The sheriff was going up and down the lane with the siren on to start evacuating," said Lisa Baswell, who lives 1,000 feet from the burning home.

She was shaken by the aircraft dropping flame retardant.

"They kept going flying back and forth and circling," said Baswell. "It’s just a hop skip and a jump from our house. It was very very scary."

Neighbor Erica Arent saw flames burning from some of her security cameras.

"We have always appreciated that we’ve been away from the fires here in Petaluma and the Penngrove area," she said. "So it was a little eye-opening today that we have to be alert and be careful."

When it was over, Cal Fire crews broke out the chain saws. A total of 10 to 15 acres burned , along with a large house and several out buildings. 

Evacuations were lifted after 3 p.m.

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