Dozens of homes destroyed in massive fires in California wine country

A fire burns in Napa County late Sunday Oct. 8 2017

Raging California wine country wildfires force evacuations

The largest was in the area of Porter Creek Road and Petrified Forest Road near Calistoga where mandatory evacuations were ordered for residents along Porter Creek, Petrified Forest, Franz Valley and Mountain Home Ranch Rd. At least 1,500 structures have been destroyed, California's fire chief said.

The only positive news is that fire officials have said that the high winds of last night have died down for the time being, but they are expected to kick up again around sundown, meaning that fast containment is vital.

No fires were reported in the Petaluma area early Monday morning, though smoke could be seen over the city.

Gov. Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency for Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties.

As of 6:46 a.m. on October 8, the Fort Fire in Sonoma County was 100 percent contained. The fire jumped US-101 early Monday morning, according to the Santa Rosa Police Department, and had reached 20,000 acres as of 5:41 a.m.

Weather.com is reporting on a second blaze, named the "Atlas Peak" fire, which has already consumed 31 square miles, forcing fire-fighters to spread resources as near-hurricane force winds fueled the intensity of the multiple firestorms. Officials are predicting gusty winds and dry conditions.

Community centers, the Sonoma County Fairgrounds and other local centers were opened for evacuees.

Centers for the evacuated have opened at Crosswalk Church, Napa Valley College Gym and the Napa County Fairgrounds, officials say. Numerous fires spread suddenly overnight, whipped by furious winds.

Cal Fire, the state agency, said the Atlas Fire in Napa County was near Atlas Peak Road and had blackened at least 200 acres. Swift gusts whipped flames into the area, leaving some homes in a heap of smoldering rubble.

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office says deputies were dispatched to help firefighters and California Highway Patrol officers with evacuations.

All told, fires in Northern California have so far burned a minimum of 45,000 acres.

San Francisco authorities issued an air quality alert due to smoke from the blazes, warning residents to close windows, limit outdoor activities and keep pets inside, according to text messages sent by the city's emergency notification system.

Emergency dispatchers were overwhelmed with 911 calls and advised callers to only call if actual flames were spotted.

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