California Wildfires Rage in Napa Valley Wine Region

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  • Bloomberg QuickTake: Now published this video item, entitled “California Wildfires Rage in Napa Valley Wine Region” – below is their description.

    Northern California’s wine country was on fire again Monday as strong winds fanned flames in the already scorched region, prompting evacuation orders involving more than 50,000 people. Flames also engulfed the Chateau Boswell Winery north of St. Helena. The Adventist Health St. Helena hospital suspended care and transferred all patients elsewhere, according to a statement on its website. The fires that began Sunday in the famed Napa-Sonoma wine country north of San Francisco came on the third anniversary of deadly wildfires that erupted in 2017, including one that killed 22 people. The latest inferno began with the Glass Fire at 3:50 a.m. Sunday and two subsequent fires merged with it, burning 17 square miles (44 square kilometers) as of early Monday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire. More than 53,000 people in Sonoma and Napa counties were under evacuation orders, said Daniel Berlant, assistant deputy director with Cal Fire. Many more have been warned that they may have to flee. Paul Lowenthal, another Cal Fire spokesman, said more than 13,000 homes were threatened in Santa Rosa alone. Numerous studies in recent years have linked bigger wildfires in America to global warming from the burning of coal, oil and gas, especially because climate change has made California much drier. A drier California means plants are more flammable. The latest fires erupted as a giant ridge of high pressure settled over the West, producing powerful gusts blowing from the interior toward the coast while slashing humidity levels and raising temperatures, making vegetation ready to burn. During the weekend, Pacific Gas & Electric turned off electricity to targeted areas where the winds raised the potential for arcing or other power equipment damage that could spark new fires. The utility’s equipment has caused previous disasters, including the 2018 Camp Fire that devastated the Sierra Nevada foothills town of Paradise and killed 85 people. So far this year, more than 8,100 California wildfires have scorched 5,780 square miles (14,970 square kilometers), destroyed more than 7,000 buildings and killed 26 people. Full Coverage: Wildfires Most of the losses occurred after a frenzy of dry lightning strikes in mid-August ignited a massive outbreak of fires. Fire worries were also developing Monday across Southern California although it was unclear how strong predicted Santa Ana winds would be. Heat and extreme dryness were expected to be problematic nonetheless.

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