A firefighter lights a back fire during the Kincade fire on Oct. 24, 2019 near Geyserville, Calif. The fire broke out in spite of rolling blackouts by utility companies in both northern and Southern California. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

Sonoma County fire at more than 54,000 acres, 5 percent containment as of Sunday evening

Fast-moving Kincade fire rages out of control

The Kincade Fire in Sonoma County has spread widely and containment levels have dropped over the course of Sunday, Cal Fire officials said at an evening briefing.

The fire, which started Wednesday night near Geyserville and is approaching the town of Windsor as of Sunday evening, has burned at least 54,298 acres and its containment has gone down to 5 percent from 10 percent earlier in the day, Division Chief Jonathan Cox said.

Two firefighters were burned while battling the blaze — one taken to an area hospital by ambulance and another taken by helicopter to a burn center in Sacramento, Cox said.

At least 94 structures have been destroyed and 17 damaged, and almost 80,000 more structures are still threatened by the wildfire, he said.

A list of evacuation zones, which now include parts of Napa County, can be found at https://sonomacounty.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=2cb4401e1fc0494dbf9d9e22aa794617.

Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick saw the fire by air from the sheriff’s office helicopter on Sunday and said “it’s still a very active fire.”

Essick said Cal Fire and assisting crews stopped the fire near the northeast edge of Windsor earlier Sunday. Tens of thousands of Sonoma County residents remain under evacuation orders from east of U.S. Highway 101 to the Pacific Ocean because of the fire.

Essick said the magnitude of this event struck him while visiting evacuation shelters.

“There is certainly a sense of fear out there,” he said. “A lot of people have questions about what’s going on.”

More than 200 law enforcement officers are patrolling the evacuation zones for safety and to prevent looting. Essick said there was one arrest Sunday of a suspicious person in one of the evacuation zones who could not provide a location for where they were headed.

The conditions that are making the Kincade Fire so dangerous will remain in effect in the coming days.

National Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Walbrun said gusts as strong as 75 mph on Sunday were still as strong as 40 mph as of Sunday evening, and a Red Flag Warning remains in effect for the area until 11 a.m. Monday.

Walbrun said there’s a “24-hour window of favorable weather” before another wind event on Tuesday night, and there is no forecast for rain through at least the end of October.

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