NAPA COUNTY—The Glass Fire, which began as a 20-acre fire in Napa County, accelerated, burning 1 acre every five seconds according to California fire department officials. The fire was first reported at around 4 a.m. in Napa Valley on Sunday September 27, by Napa County spokeswoman Janet Upton.
The fire burned 51,266 acres at 2% containment as of Wednesday night, according to a Cal Fire update on Twitter. According to the update, 26,290 structures were threatened. Six commercial structures, 27 outbuildings, 27 minor structures and 143 single-family residences in Napa and Sonoma counties have been destroyed.
According to the Red Cross, more than 70,000 people have been forced to evacuate from the Glass Fire and from two nearby California wildfires that later merged. ABC News reported that in the State of California four million acres have burned this year.
Eighty homes have been destroyed by the Glass Fire, 28 in Sonoma County and 52 in Napa County. CNN reported 21 people were being treated by local hospitals as of September 29.
Residents in the areas west of State Route 29 and State Route 128 in Napa Valley were told to leave immediately. ABC news said that 80,000 people are on evacuation orders. St. Helena’s hospital was forced to evacuate patients for the second time in a month according to the ABC report.
NBC Bay Area said one of Napa Valley’s wineries, the Chateau Boswell Winery near the city of St. Helena, was damaged by flames. Reporter Jodi Hernandez said the main portion of the castle remained intact. She added that the owner spent 15 years and $40 million building the Tuscany-style castle. Dario V. Sattui, entrepreneur behind the winery, said, “It’s really sad. It’s going to cost millions to replace. I put my love into this and never thought this would happen.”
Hernandez reported other wineries such as Brasswood were threatened by the fast-moving fires, and others were completely burned.
Weather conditions on Tuesday afternoon were favorable and allowed firefighters to build containment lines against the Glass Fire, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Scorching heat and high speed winds challenging firefighter efforts were predicted for Thursday and Friday in a National Weather Service Bay Area forecast, with gusts between 25 to 30 miles per hour.
California Governor Gavin Newsom’s plans for fire suppression and prevention are expected to be released in coming weeks according to the CNN report.