Northern California’s famed wine country continues to succumb to the ravages of the Glass Fire, which ignited on Sunday and combined with two smaller wildfires by Tuesday spreading from the Napa Valley into Sonoma County as far west as the outskirts of Santa Rosa. The fourth major inferno to devastate the region is posing life-threatening conditions for many residents, just three years shy of the anniversary of a large-scale blaze which claimed 22 lives in 2017.
Approximately 70,000 people were ordered to evacuate in Napa and Sonoma counties, including the total population of more than 5,000 in the picturesque northern Napa town of Calistoga, known for its lavish spas, upscale boutique wineries and natural hot springs – including the infamous Old Faithful Geyser.
The uncontrollable wildfires remain uncontained as firefighters battle flames fueled by extremely arid land, strong gusty winds and hot temperatures. Southern California is also under a fire danger watch as the Santa Ana winds blew in on Tuesday, making for potentially dangerous conditions. So far, this year alone, California has seen over 8,100 wildfires which have claimed the lives at least 40 people, torched almost 5,800 square miles and destroyed at least 7,000 homes and buildings.
Climatologists and scientists attribute the increasing outbreak of larger and more frequent wildfires to climate change, which is resulting in drier conditions making trees and plant life exceedingly flammable.
Ann Sullivan is a contributing staff writer covering national and world news topics. She brings dedicated experience having written international and domestic news, blogs, and web content for over 20 years. She’s also a published poet and graphic designer with degrees in Business and Graphic Communications and has been a music distributor, music industry sponsorship sales director and band manager.