Wine Country Fires Already 3 of 10 Most Destructive in California History

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

CalFire has officially named the Wine Country’s Tubbs Fire as the most destructive in California history, with the Nuns Fire and the Atlas Fire ranked as sixth and tenth worst fires.

Since what CalFire is referring to a the “Fire Siege” began on Sunday, October 8, California has suffered 250 wildfires that killed at least 42, burned 245,000 acres, destroyed an estimated 7,700 structures, and forced over 100,000 to Californians to evacuate. Thanks to cooler temperatures, fog, and scattered rain, coupled with the Herculean bravery and determination of 11,000 firefighters and convict volunteers, there are only nine major fires currently burning in California.

The worst destruction has been concentrated in California’s fabled four-county Wine Country region, where the last six of over 100 fires are now all at least 83 percent contained.

Prior to the last week, the most destructive fire in California history was the October 1991 Tunnel Fire that burned through 1,600 acres in the Oakland Hills, destroying 2,900 structures and causing 25 deaths.

But with Wine Country fires still active and dozens of residents still missing, the Tubbs Fire in Sonoma County has taken the California crown as the most destructive in history by burning 36,432 acres, destroying 5,300 structures and killing 22.

The nearby Nuns Fire is now the sixth-worst after burning 54,382 acres, destroying 1,200 structures and causing 2 deaths. The Atlas Fire in southern Napa County, which burned 51,624 acres, destroyed 741 structures and caused 6 deaths, is tenth-worst.

Conditions are still dangerous. The National Weather Service issues “Red Flag Warnings & Fire Weather Watches” to alert fire departments of the “onset, or possible onset, of critical weather and dry conditions that could lead to rapid or dramatic increases in wildfire activity.”

A California Red Flag Warning is currently issued for weather events that may result in extreme fire behavior in the next 24 hours. Risk facts include low relative humidity, strong winds, dry fuels, the possibility of dry lightning strikes for inland sections of Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, Imperial and San Diego counties.


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