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10,000-acre uncontained Kincade Fire burns unknown number of structures

More residents are being evacuated as the Kincade Fire burns out of control, damaging at least two structures in rural northeast Sonoma County early Thursday morning, according to Cal Fire and Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office officials.

Sheriffs’ officials said homes north of Pine Hill Road are being evacuated and will be added to a total of 300 people who have already been forced from their homes. An additional 1,700 people have been warned to be ready to leave.

The blaze has charred 10,000 acres with 0 percent containment as of 6 a.m., Cal Fire officials said. A total of 328 fire personnel are battling the blaze.

The evacuation center at Windsor High School at 8695 Windsor Rd. in Windsor will close at 7 a.m., county officials said. The Healdsburg Community Center at 1557 Healdsburg Ave. in Healdsburg will remain open.

Sonoma County Sheriff The Kincade Fire in Sonoma County, Calif. grew from 300 acres the night of Wednesday, October 23, 2019 to 10,000 acres by early Thursday and had damaged and destroyed an unknown number of structures as of 10 a.m. October 24, 2019.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office ordered mandatory evacuations and warnings starting at 12:30 a.m. Thursday. Residents on Red Winery Road, all of Alexander Mountain Road, state Highway 128 from Geysers Road to River Road including the Red Rock Casino and all roads off River Road have been ordered to leave.

The American Red Cross advises residents with large animals to head to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds at 1350 Bennett Valley Rd. in Santa Rosa.

The National Weather Service said as of 5:45 a.m. max wind gusts in the area of the blaze had come down to about 40-50 mph on the highest peaks and humidity remains very low. Sustained winds had dropped down to about the mid 20-to-30 mph range in the higher elevations.

At 2 a.m., conditions in the area of the fire showed temperatures in the 70s to 80s, with relative humidity in the single digits.

A Red Flag Warning remains in effect until 4 p.m. Thursday.

The fire surged from being 300-400 acres around 11:30 p.m, to to 5,000 acres around 1 a.m. Thursday, grew to 7,000 acres a little more than one hour later and was still reported at 10,000 acres as of 9:42 a.m., per fire officials.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Amy Head said just before 10 a.m. that homes and structures have been both destroyed and damaged, but could not confirm the exact number of impacted structures. A formal damage assessment is needs to be completed in order to gather accurate information, which will then be shared with the public.

Sgt. Juan Valencia said there are still no reports of injuries or structure damage. The blaze was first reported at about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in rural Sonoma County off John Kincade and Burned Mountain roads east of Cloverdale, Cal Fire officials said.

Per its outage website, PG&E had shutdown power in the area a few hours prior around 5 p.m. for its Planned Safety Power Shutdown due to high fire danger weather.

A PG&E spokesperson said the company is aware of the blaze and that power in the area had been shutdown to 27,837 customers in the area around 3 p.m. Wednesday for the safety shutdown.

“The Kincade Fire is near the PSPS footprint, and we are working to gather additional information,” the statement said.

Valencia said residents are advised to call 211, not 911, for information on the fire. He said 911 should only be used to report a life-threatening emergency.

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