Brendan Weber

Rumor Debunked: Famous ‘Windows XP Hill' Survives North Bay Fires

Despite a rumor swirling across social media, the iconic "Windows Hill" — the picturesque landscape prominently featured on the old Windows XP operating system — did not burn in the North Bay fires.

An image of what appears to be the famous "Bliss" desktop background engulfed in flames was posted on Imgur sometime Tuesday. It also made the rounds on Reddit and Twitter, gaining more that 7,300 retweets and roughly 12,400 likes as of Wednesday afternoon, about 24 hours after it was posted.

Turns out the image of the torched hillside does not portray the unforgettable desktop background, which was known for its luscious green landscape and cloud-blotted sky.

The image is actually a photo posted on Twitter on Oct. 9 of flames ripping through vegetation behind the Gundlach Bundschu Winery, which sits just a short drive away from where the "Windows Hill" photo was taken years ago.

The location where the "Windows Hill" image was snapped — an area along Highway 12 near Ramal Road in Sonoma — was spared by the flames of the Nuns Fire, according to Cal Fire spokesperson Amy Head.

Cal Fire maps indicate that the flames crept close to the hillside but never actually consumed it. 

Trevor Johnson took to Twitter after he saw the rumor and immediately exposed it.

"I know for a fact that the Windows Bliss hill and the winery on the property are 100 percent undamaged from the fires," Johnson told NBC Bay Area. "I literally drive by there twice a day."

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