Updated Friday, Aug. 21 at 7 a.m. —
According to the latest report from CalFire, the Walbridge Fire grew from 20,000 acres overnight to 21,125 acres and is 0% contained. The Meyers Fire held at 3,000 acres and is 0% contained.
Updated Thursday, Aug. 20 at 1:05 p.m. —
According to a statement from the city of Healdsburg, the Walbridge (14,500 acres) and the Stewarts fire are near each other, if not merged. Directionally, the Walbridge Fire is currently more of a threat to the south in the Rio Nido and Hacienda areas give the wind direction.
Winds are currently light but are likely to rise again towards the late afternoon, evening hours.
According to the statement, "We expect today and tomorrow to be the days with the most wind, though nothing like some of the more serious winds we saw in late fall. Warmer weather may return as well as tropical moisture conditions and thunderstorms."
The city of Healdsburg's evacuation warning is still in place. That means, "Stay ready, stay calm, stay in touch, stay safe, and stay tuned."
Updated Thursday, Aug. 20 at 8:41 a.m. —
According to the latest report from CalFire, the Walbridge Fire is 14,500 acres and is 0% contained. The Meyers Fire north of Jenner is 3,000 acres and is 0% contained.
Updated Thursday, Aug. 20 at 7:17 a.m. —
The Walbridge Fire is 14,000 acres and is 0% contained. The Meyers Fire north of Jenner is 2,500 acres and is 0% contained.
Updated 8:18 p.m.
An evacuation warning has been issued for all residents in the city of Healdsburg.
Updated Wednesday, Aug. 19, 7:46 p.m.
Walbridge Fire (Fire 13-4) Evacuation Warning Update: Evacuation Warning has been expanded to include all residents in the following area:
Map Grid 2F3
South of Lytton Springs Road.
North of Westside Road.
East of Dry Creek (the actual creek) to the city limits of Healdsburg and Hwy. 101
Map Grid 2F2
All areas South of Canyon Road to Lytton Springs Road.
East of Dry Creek (the actual creek) to Hwy. 101.
Be advised if you live in this area you may be ordered to evacuate soon. Do not wait to start gathering your things and be ready to leave. If you feel you are in danger please evacuate now. Check with your neighbors to ensure they have been made aware of the warning.
The public is reminded to stay vigilant on current fire conditions. Please continue to adhere to road closures and any evacuation warnings. A reminder to drive slowly and yield to emergency personnel in the area. There may be smoke in the respective areas as firefighters continue firefighting operations. If at any time you feel unsafe, please call 9-1-1.
Updated Wednesday, Aug. 19, 6:17 p.m. —
According to a statement from the city of Healdsburg, Healdsburg is currently NOT under an evacuation warning or order. If the situation changes, the city will let residents know through local communication channels, including the city's Facebook page.
According to the statement on their Facebook page, "There is now only one Temporary Evacuation Point (TEP) in Sonoma County – the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. The TEP at Memorial Beach is now closed. As of this afternoon, about 8,000 people in Sonoma County have been ordered to evacuate and an additional 7,700 people are under an evacuation warning, according to Sonoma County Department of Emergency Management."
To sign up for Nixle, text, "95448" to "888777."
Updated Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2:52 p.m. —
According to a 1:14 p.m. statement issued from Healdsburg Mayor Evelyn Mitchell and interim city manager David Kiff, the Walbridge Fire is still several miles away from Healdsburg and remains uncontained. The city is watching the fire closely and will monitor the wind and weather very closely in the coming hours.
According to a 9 a.m. statement from the city of Healdsburg, the 1,500-acre Walbridge Fire is currently not heading toward Healdsburg and is moving south/southwest away from Healdsburg toward the lower Russian River area and Guerneville.
“So far the community is faring well. We don’t have any evacuation orders in our city limits so it (the Walbridge Fire) is a little bit out in the hillside more,” Healdsburg Mayor Evelyn Mitchel said in an interview with KSRO radio Wednesday morning.
According to CalFire, there is an evacuation warning for the west of Mill Creek Road area.
Other areas under an evacuation warning include west of Meyers Grade Road to the coast, south of Fort Ross Road, north of Russian Gulch State Beach, north of Austin Creek Recreational Area, east of Cedars and south of Stewarts Point-Skaggs Spring Road.
“The fire seems to be heading south/southwest of Healdsburg which is away from our town, so we are going to watch it throughout the day because the winds could shift the fire backs toward Healdsburg and if that were to happen we would be ready,” Mitchell said in the interview.
With unfavorable weather and wind conditions slated for this afternoon, there is the possibility the fire could shift directions depending on wind directions.
“The other concern is the fire may take that left hand turn back into Supervisor (James) Gore's district as the winds shift this afternoon, and that can potentially implicate communities along Westside Road and out that direction,” Fifth District Supervisor Lynda Hopkins said during a press briefing Wednesday morning.
Sonoma County District 4 Supervisor James Gore said at the same briefing said he shares a ridgeline with Hopkins where the fire is around. He said initial fire reports were coming out of the Mill Creek area and backwards into Austin Creek and down into the Armstrong redwoods.
In an update to the Mill Creek neighborhood from the Mill Creek COPE program leaders, Mark Farmer and Mark Menne reiterated these reports.
In the letter to the Mill Creek community sent out at 7:24 a.m. this morning, Farmer and Menne wrote, “We have little new information to share but are in direct communications with Marshall Turbeville of CalFire and Linda Collister of Healdsburg Fire. We hope that today brings favorable conditions and fire crews get an upper hand on the situation. We believe that fire crews are fighting two fires in our area. At 4 a.m. Linda Collister told us that a fire from McCray Ridge has made it down into the Palmer Creek drainage but the activity has slowed down. Fire crews have been using the alternate evacuation route through the Max property to move equipment, including bulldozers to the scene. That fire is moving in the direction of Armstrong Woods. The second fire is at Gray Creek Road near the end of Mill Creek Road. We know that fire crews have been on the scene and working at the end of Mill Creek Road since last night. Marshal said last night around midnight that the fire had burned up and over the ridge that 10150 Mill Creek Road is on and then downhill to Gray Creek Road at Doelger.”
Rural Healdsburg/North county road closures include:
Dry Creek Road at Dry Creek
Yoaking Bridge Road at Dry Creek Road
Lyton Springs Road at Dry Creek Road
Westside Road at Dry Creek
Again, it is important to note that the fire is not heading toward Healdsburg city limits, rather, it’s moving south toward Guerneville.
Nevertheless, the city of Healdsburg wrote in their morning statement, “Please remain vigilant, calm, and be prepared to leave if necessary.”
Gore said with limited firefighting resources the Walbridge Fire is expected to be long and hard fought.
“The one thing we are getting ready for is to prepare for a long and hard fought battle. We don’t have the resources, we have our locals out there and while we do not have the cataclysmic Diablo winds these are still significant winds and what we do have in plentitude out in this area is a plentitude of fuel that is ready to burn,” Gore said.