Special Coverage: October Fire

Nearly a third of the 150 homes built along the Mayacamas ridgeline that separates Sonoma from Napa County were burned in the October wildfires.
The effort was the largest debris removal project in the California since the 1906 earthquake.
Cal Fire investigators determined PG&E electrical equipment and infrastructure caused 12 different fires during the October firestorm.
Ramona Nicholson lost her family home, her father’s house, her treasured Corvette convertible, 10 other small buildings and several rail cars on the first night of the fires.
Police body-camera footage obtained by The Mercury News shows Santa Rosa police officers running door-to-door, urging people to flee as flames approach.
Most of those warned of the firestorm found out from friends, family members and neighbors, according to The Press Democrat Poll.
The Army Corps has completed 100 percent of major debris removal in Glen Ellen, Kenwood and the greater Sonoma Valley, where more lots are now going up for sale. Some fire survivors are finding that a sale is the easiest path forward.
Altogether, Sonoma Valley lost more than 400 homes in Octobers fires, many in Glen Ellen where locals are eager to get to work.
“The most significant impact on the North Coast wine industry was an immediate and temporary slow-down of visitors to the region,” said Honore Comfort, SSU Wine Business Executive in Residence.
PG&E, the dominant utility across Northern California, now faces a widening legal battle over its alleged connection with the fires.
Without the heroics of firefighters and friends, Glen Ellen's Beltane Ranch would be ash, so owners transformed their annual November zinfandel release party into a community love fest.
Researchers are looking for markers in the ash and air that might predict toxicity and health effects.
A strapping man who loved nature and working on his 40-acre property on Cavedale Road overlooking Sonoma Valley, Lee Chadwick Rogers was a local fire victim.
The images were captured on a wildlife camera by Sonoma County Regional Parks and shared on Facebook.
As the flames flared through Agua Caliente, Glen Ellen Cal Fire Capt. Sean Jerry studied the situation and said, “OK, this is what we’re going to do.”
Annual Plaza event expanded to include recognition, ‘gratitude’ in wake of fires; begins 4 p.m. Saturday.
Efforts to stabilize the fire-scarred landscape against rain kicked into high gear Wednesday as a storm arrived in the region, raising the risk of mudslides, flash flooding and fallen trees.
The bureau hopes a go-big-or-go-home campaign funded by Sonoma Tourism Improvement District will help draw tourists back to the Sonoma Valley following recent fires.
During the chaotic weeks of the Wine Country wildfires, sixty of Hector Alvarez’s beehives went up in smoke.
Countywide, the wildfires destroyed 6,600 structures, including 5,130 homes, according to Cal Fire.
Recent Columns

Our Network