SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KTXL) — A Red Flag Warning in Sonoma and Napa counties has fire officials worried about their progress on suppressing the Glass Fire, which has already destroyed over 140 structures and damaged dozens of others.
On Thursday, state officials tried to reassure residents that firefighters were working hard to contain the destructive blaze. The Glass Fire is only 5% contained, prompting on-going evacuations and threatening several towns in Napa and Sonoma counties.
Fire officials and law enforcement in Sonoma and Napa counties are telling residents to be ready for more evacuations depending on the movement of the fire. That means packing necessities and planning a route out.
The Red Flag Warning called at 1 p.m. and lasting through Saturday recognizes that strong dry winds are in play.
Fire teams have been assembled to protect threatened homes in Santa Rosa.
“It’s really important that we keep any new fires that start in Sonoma County small and put them out so we can get through the next two days of the Red Flag Warning,” said Santa Rosa Fire Chief Tony Gossner.
Fire commanders said they are hoping for a break in the all-important weather conditions this weekend so they can make more progress.
“Hopefully, Mother Nature will play nice for a bit and we can get a little more aggressive on the ground to be able to hear and get around this fire,” said Cal Fire Incident Commander Chief Billy See.
State fire officials said they are already looking beyond this year’s big fires, saying a bigger effort on all fronts to fight and prevent fires is required.
“In California, with 40 million people, there isn’t a fire we’re going to have that isn’t going to impact people at some point in the near future,” said Cal Fire Director Thom Porter.
But state officials already began directing recovery efforts and aid to the big fires earlier this year, and offered a message they’re all too familiar with.
“Patience, cooperation, understand it is a marathon, not a sprint. And we will be with you and we will get through this together as we have in the past,” said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.