Kincade fire in Geyserville 5 percent contained, no reports of missing people
Here are the latest updates on the Kincade fire burning in northeast Sonoma County.
The Kincade fire in northern Sonoma County now stands at 16,000 acres, according to Cal Fire Incident Commander Mike Parkes, who spoke at a news conference in Geyserville on Thursday evening.
Crews battling the wildfire that broke out Wednesday night have achieved 5 percent containment and are working to build control lines, Parkes said. About 1,300 personnel are fighting the blaze, and that number could increase to as many as 2,000 people as early as Friday.
As of Thursday evening, no deaths have been reported from the fire and there are no reports of missing people, said Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick. He could not provide any details on injuries or people treated for smoke inhalation.
Officials at Thursday night’s media briefing could not immediately provide information on emergency calls regarding the medically vulnerable.
So far, 49 structures have been confirmed to have been destroyed by the Kincade fire, according to officials at the briefing.
Two school districts in northern Sonoma County will be closed on Friday due to the threat posed by the Kincade fire.
The Alexander Valley and Geyserville Unified school districts will not open Friday, according to an announcement by the county Office of Education. Additional updates were scheduled at 8 p.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday.
All schools in the Santa Rosa City Schools district will be open on Friday after PG&E ended a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) and restored electricity to four schools Thursday afternoon. All after-school programs will occur on Friday unless schools have said otherwise.
Maria Carrillo High, Rincon Valley Middle, Santa Rosa Accelerated Charter School and Hidden Valley Elementary were closed Thursday. The four schools dismissed students early on Wednesday because of traffic concerns.
PG&E expects another blackout Saturday night, which could result in the closure of some schools on Monday.
Six districts in Sonoma County closed some or all of their schools Thursday. Most announced closures Wednesday in response to the PG&E planned power shutdown that started Wednesday affecting about 27,000 customers in Sonoma County.
Any additional updates will be posted at scoe.org/schoolclosures.
Late Thursday afternoon, Cal Fire officials still had no update on how much an out-of-control wildfire burning near Geyserville in northeast Sonoma County had grown throughout the day, having already hit 10,000 acres by dawn.
The fierce winds that battered the region Wednesday night had died down some by mid-morning, allowing firefighters to begin trying to build fire breaks around the fire.
But that meant noxious smoke from the blaze remained close, thwarting some daytime efforts to battle the fire from the air and obscuring efforts to build an accurate sense of its size, according to Paul Lowenthal, Santa Rosa Assistant Fire Marshal and acting spokesman for the Kincade fire.
“The winds have died down some, but nonetheless the fuels are still burning unchecked,” Lowenthal said.
Firefighting teams from throughout the region were coming into Sonoma County as Cal Fire prepared to bolster its resources here in advance of another wind storm — forecast to bring stronger winds — forecast to arrive Saturday.