1 person dies in 63-acre Roblar Fire in western Sonoma County

A man died at the scene of a fire that scorched 63 acres before it was fully contained in west Sonoma County on Monday afternoon.

His exact cause of death is under investigation and his identification is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.

He was inside a skid steer construction vehicle on private property accessible by a curvy dirt road, which firefighters slowly navigated.

Cal Fire investigators said the cause of the blaze is under investigation and it’s too early to say whether the man died at its point of origin.

The Roblar Fire was reported in the area of Roblar Road and Canfield Road, southwest of Rohnert Park at about 2:30 p.m.

Driven by high winds, it spread east, said Cal Fire Public Information Officer Tom Knecht.

“Wind always plays a role (in fires),” he said.

According to the National Weather Service, sustained winds reached 15 to 20 mph and gusts reached 25 mph in parts of western Sonoma County within the vicinity of the fire.

At the height of the blaze It burned along a rural hillside, just miles from the Pacific Ocean.

Knecht said it was approximately 360 feet above sea level and no structures were damaged.

The fire’s forward progress was stopped by late Monday afternoon, he added, and firefighters were mopping up by early evening.

Charred landscape was visible across the scene as gusty winds continued to pass through the area.

Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Misti Wood confirmed that no evacuations were ordered.

Smoke from the fire was visible as far away as Santa Rosa, Cotati, Petaluma and Rohnert Park, but there was no threat to homes in those cities, according to alerts from city officials.

You can reach Staff Writer Alana Minkler at 707-526-8511 or On Twitter @alana_minkler.

Alana Minkler

Breaking news & general assignment reporter, The Press Democrat

The world is filled with stories that inspire compassion, wonder, laughs and even tears. As a Press Democrat reporter covering breaking news, tribes and youth, it’s my goal to give others a voice to share these stories.

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