Full containment of Sonoma County fires delayed to Tuesday; more neighborhoods reopen

Dexter Fire Department chief Guy Harshbarger, left , Cody Frank and Jordan Rossman of Dexter, Oregon Volunteer Fire Department stow fire hose as the look for hot spots in the roots of trees along Franz Valley Road near Calistoga, Tuesday Oct. 17, 2017. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2017


While Cal Fire pushed back until Tuesday the expected full containment of the Tubbs, Nuns and Pocket fires, it is allowing residents of burned areas off Mark West Springs, Porter Creek and Calistoga roads to re-enter their neighborhoods Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Returning residents will need to have proper identification to show authorities. For those needing additional assistance, a checkpoint will be open at the Knights Valley Fire Department, 16850 Spencer Lane, Calistoga.

Firefighters Thursday continued working within the massive containment lines boxing in areas where fires burned 110,720 acres in Sonoma County to remove hazards like damaged trees and hoses. Twenty-three county residents have been confirmed dead.

Cal Fire did not provide any explanation for the delay in full containment. It originally had planned to reach that point Friday.

Fire and utility crews continue patrolling roads to look for any lingering smoldering hot spots and clean up areas impacted by the fire and firefight.

“Until every last tree that’s posing a threat and every last fire suppression issue has been dealt with, there’s still work to be done,” Cal Fire spokesman Jonathan Cox said.

Part of the work entails repairing damage done during the firefight, such as broken fences and road surfaces, Cox said. Collectively, the fires in Sonoma County were considered 94 percent contained.

The latest containment reports for each fire as of 7 p.m. Thursday were:

Tubbs fire: 36,807 acres and 95 percent contained

Pocket fire: 17,357 acres and 94 percent contained

Nuns fire: 56,556 acres and 94 percent contained

You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 707-521-5220 or On Twitter @jjpressdem.