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High winds keep fire crews busy across Sonoma County

  • Firefighters work to combat a blaze that jumped HIghway 101 in Penngrove and threatened a residential street. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat)

A car knocked down a power pole Tuesday, sparking a 10-acre grass fire in rolling, sparsely populated hills southeast of Petaluma, authorities said.

Cal Fire air tankers circled over the blaze along Stage Gulch Road between Lakeville Highway and Adobe Road as ground crews gained control at 4:17p.m., officials said.

Crews had to contend with brisk winds but kept that fire and several other blazes around the county from causing much damage Tuesday.

Petaluma Brush Fires

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The car crash was reported at 3:30p.m. and that stretch of Stage Gulch Road remained closed at 7:30p.m., CHP Sgt. Jeff Abrams said.

PG&E repair work expected to run into the night or early today, he said.

Windblown fires also erupted Tuesday in Penn-grove and at Doran Beach in Bodega Bay, fire agencies reported.

Near Guerneville, tree branches striking a power line caused a power failure for 43 customers along Armstrong Woods Road north of Highway 116, PG&E spokesman Chris Carter said.

The blackout affected customers on Laughlin Road, Rio Nido Road and Sweetwater Springs Road, he said.

The Stage Gulch Road incident apparently cut power to 23 customers along Lakeville Highway from Browns Lane to Stage Gulch Road, Carter said.

A 25-year-old Vallejo woman ran off a curved section of Stage Gulch Road for an unknown reason, knocking the pole across the road, Abrams said.

The driver complained of pain and was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, he said.

A Cal Fire dispatcher said there were three fires stemming from two separate “starts” and the causes were under investigation.

The fire had covered half an acre when the first Cal Fire crews arrived, the dispatcher said. Two air tankers and a helicopter joined five Cal Fire engines, a bulldozer and two inmate fire crews battling the blaze, with assistance from local fire departments.

The downed power lines were de-energized as PG&E workers undertook repairs, Abrams said.

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