Old fire burning east of Geyserville as gusts hit over 80 mph in North Bay mountains
Firefighters early Tuesday were continuing their work seeking to contain to a wildfire burning in the wind-whipped hills east of Geyserville, where confirmed gusts reached at least 85 mph overnight.
The blaze, called the Old fire, was first reported about 9:55 p.m. Monday off Big Geysers Road. The fire’s reported acreage, 10 acres, did not change, but winds became steadily more fierce, with the National Weather Service reporting consistent gusts above 80 mph in the region and at least one measured at 94 mph, making for one of the strongest wind storms to hit the North Bay in years if not decades.
Fire officials said no structures were immediately threatened, but with dry offshore winds fueling the potential for explosive fire behavior, authorities were quick to dispatch resources to the remote area, in the vicinity of The Geysers geothermal fields of northeastern Sonoma County.
At least six engines, four water tenders and three hand crews were sent in an initial call.
PG&E representatives and Healdsburg officials reported that power equipment in the area had been damaged by the winds and utility crews were on hand making repairs.
No planned power shut-offs were issued for the region, though PG&E had warned customers that it expected overnight winds could lead to some outages across the North Bay.
The utility planned preemptive power shut-offs for about 6,000 customers across parts of its territory in Central California.
Sonoma County’s largest wildfire on record, the 2019 Kincade fire, started in the same vicinity amid strong October offshore winds and burned up to the edge of Windsor. Its cause, according to Cal Fire, was wind-damaged PG&E equipment that had not been de-engerized ahead of a forecast red flag warning.
No cause was given for the start of the Old fire.
Check back for updates on this developing story.
To see live view of the area from the North Bay fire alert cameras, click here.