UPDATE — The Kincade Fire that started Wednesday night, Oct. 23, is at 5% containment at 21,900 acres, CalFire officials said at 7:35 a.m. on Oct. 25.
A massive wildfire has broken out in the hills east of Geyserville, near the geothermal power station known as The Geysers. As of early Thursday morning at 4:35 a.m., it had reached 10,000 acres with 0% containment.
According to CalFire as of 7:42 a.m. on Oct. 24, "CAL FIRE and multiple local government agencies are on scene of a wind driven grass and brush fire with a north east wind in the area of the Geysers. Structures and powerlines threatened, long range spotting observed. Structure damage assessments will begin today. "There are 328 firefighting personnel on the scene and two structures have been damaged thus far."
The Kincade Fire began on John Kincade Road at approximately 9:27 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Evacuation orders and evacuation warnings are in place for several areas.
Evacuation orders and warnings
At 10:35 p.m. on Wednesday the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department issued an evacuation order for people living east of Geyserville. According to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, all 300 people from the mandatory evacuation area have been evacuated.
At 7:24 a.m. Thursday morning, a mandatory evacuation was issued for all of Geyserville.
"The Kincade Fire has crossed Highway 128 near Moody Lane and is heading west," states the alert. "If you’re in Geyserville, leave now. Head south to evacuation centers at Healdsburg Community Center or Windsor High School. All other evacuation orders and warnings remain in place."
At 12:25 a.m., additional evacuation orders were sent out for all of Red Winery Road, all of Alexander Mountain Road, Highway 128 from Geysers Road to River Road including the casino, and all roads off River Road. All roads east of Highway 128 in Geyserville are under mandatory evacuation.
Additionally, firefighters gave direction at 12:24 a.m. to evacuate: Pine Flat Road in its entirety; Geysers Road; Cloverdale Geysers Road; Highway 128 to Pine Flat Road.
There is no evacuation order currently for Cloverdale or Healdsburg, there is an evacuation WARNING for the unincorporated areas in North Healdsburg — note, this is a warning not an evacuation order. There are 1,700 residents in this area. According to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, residents in the evacuation warning areas should be packing up their cars (bringing emergency supplies, pets, prescriptions) and be ready to leave at moment's notice.
According to the the town of Windsor, as of 10:24 a.m. on Oct. 24, there is no anticipated threat to the town.
According to an 11:52 a.m. update from the Cloverdale Police Department, there is no immediate threat to Cloverdale.
A knock in the night
"It's pretty wild up there," Sonoma County Sheriff's Office Information Officer Misti Harris told radio station KSRO just after midnight on Thursday morning.
"We have a lot of sheriffs deputies up there knocking on doors," she said.
She added that they are using all the alert systems that were set up in the aftermath of the 2017 fire.
"We are trying to reach people in any way possible," she said.
Update from Supervisor James Gore: Depends on the winds
According to a Thursday, Oct. 24, 10:30 a.m. update from District 4 Supervisor James Gore, it's estimated that 1,700 and 2,000 residents have been evacuated.
"There was a lot of concern last night, the winds were pretty high, and also at 5 a.m. this morning, a big wind swell hit," Gore said. "What we're trying to do is make sure all of the resources are deployed today to fight as best as possible.
"You will not see any numbers on containment go up until after the wind storm, and the wind is projected to really die down later today — somewhere in the time frame of 3 to 5 p.m. the wind is really expected to cut out."
While the wind is expected to calm down as they day goes on, Gore said that another wind storm is expected to come in Saturday night and last through Sunday.
At around 1:40 p.m. on Thursday, District 4 Supervisor James Gore said that evacuees are being directed to go to the Santa Rosa Vets Building (1351 Maple Ave, Santa Rosa) as the Healdsburg shelter is at full capacity.
The Sonoma County Fairgrounds is open to large animals only.
Evacuation centers had been been set up at the Healdsburg Community Center (parking available for livestock trailers), 1557 Healdsburg Ave. and Windsor High School. Windsor High School's center was closed Thursday morning because the Windsor Unified School District remained open. The Healdsburg Community Center was at capacity Thursday afternoon.