Fire maps indicate growing containment lines in Sonoma County wildfires

A sign thanking first responders hangs by a newly planted vineyard Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, in Napa, Calif. With the winds dying down, fire crews gained ground as they battled wildfires that have devastated California wine country and other parts of the state over the past week, and thousands of people got the all-clear to return home. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)


3:35 p.m. — Maps hanging on the press briefing board at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds Monday of the area fires now mostly are ringed with longer black lines than red lines, an indication of growing containment lines and further firefighter success.

With about 70 percent of the Tubbs fire contained, the map showed red still at the top, in the area in Napa County and up Mount St. Helena in Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, but officials said several efforts Monday including hiking firefighters moving on fire’s edges, carving out a fire break with chain saws, backfires and ongoing air attacks could lead to further containment by Monday night.

On the Nuns fire, from Glen Ellen south around Schellville was solid black. Areas of Kenwood remained red, showing non containment. Red lines also remained in the Mayacamas mountain range separating Sonoma and Napa counties.

Efforts were “very successful” with efforts on the Pocket fire in northern Sonoma County, said Cal Fire’s Steve Crawford, who is running overall firefighting operations. The east side of the fire leading to The Geysers remained the toughest area to finish off but he also expected improvement by the end of the day with the weather’s cooperation.

Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano asked for patience from residents, noting many evacuees are frustrated and want to go home. For people whose homes still stand within burn areas “you will not be living there for days or weeks,” until areas are deemed safe, the sheriff said.

Giordano said residents without power cannot use generators because it was slowing down PG&E efforts to reenergize neighborhoods.

Of 1,863 missing person reports in Sonoma County since the start of the fires, 88 remain to be found. Giordano said it likely some of those 88 will become fatalities as the body searches continue. More than 50 people Monday were involved in searched of burned homes as well as specific searches of homes where missing people reside.