Strong winds push Kincade Fire west across Highway 128

The mandatory evacuation zones stretches to the Pacific Ocean

Above: The Kincade Fire as seen from the St. Helena North camera at 9:06 a.m. PDT Oct. 27, 2019. Looking toward Healdsburg.

UPDATED at 5:53 p.m. PDT October 27, 2019

Map Kincade Fire 1:18 p.m. PDT October 27, 2019
Map showing heat detected on the Kincade Fire by a satellite as late as at 1:18 p.m. PDT October 27, 2019. Not to be used for planning or evacuation decisions.

UPDATED at 12:30 p.m. PDT October 27, 2019

At a 10 a.m. press conference fire officials said they hope to stop the 30,000-acre Kincade Fire at the 101 freeway. The area west of the 101 does not have a recent history of fires so the vegetation, or fuel, is heavy and would present even more resistance to control.

After being closed and then open, the 101 is being closed again in the Healdsburg area between Arata Lane and Dry Creek.

Air attack, orbiting overhead and directing aircraft traffic on the Kincade Fire, has ordered large air tankers, hoping  that they can be effective in spite of the near hurricane-force winds creating turbulence and possibly blowing retardant off target.

map perimeter of the Kincade Fire
On the map of the Kincade Fire the red dots (or, the large red area) represent heat detected by a satellite at 3:36 a.m. October 27; those locations are not confirmed by personnel on the ground. The red line was the perimeter at 1:36 a.m. October 27, 2019 as detected by a fixed wing aircraft. Shown also are two large burn areas from 2017. The map should not be used for planning or evacuation decisions.

 UPDATED at 9:30 a.m. October 27, 2019

Strong winds out of the northeast pushed the Kincade Fire across Highway 128 at about 3 a.m. on Sunday. A gust of 93 mph was recorded at the Healdsburg Hills North weather station at 5:50 a.m. PDT. Ten other weather stations in the area showed gusts at 50 mph or above.

map perimeter of the Kincade Fire
On the map of the Kincade Fire the red dots (or, the large red area) represent heat detected by a satellite at 3:36 a.m. October 27; those locations are not confirmed by personnel on the ground. The red line was the perimeter at 1:36 a.m. October 27, 2019 as detected by a fixed wing aircraft. The map should not be used for planning or evacuation decisions.

Air tankers are not able to assist firefighters on the ground Sunday morning due to severe wind turbulence making it unsafe to fly and difficult for retardant to accurately hit targets.

Early Sunday morning the fire was about 10 miles north of Santa Rosa, California.

The fixed wing mapping flight at 1:36 a.m. Sunday found that the fire had burned 29,101 acres, but much additional growth has occurred since then.

(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Kincade Fire, including the most recent, click here.)

The fire was moving to the southwest in the general direction of Healdsburg and Windsor. Reporters and photographers on the scene are saying structures, including the Soda Rock Winery, have burned near Highway 128.

For several hours overnight Highway 101 was closed between Santa Rosa and Cloverdale but began to reopen at about 6:50 a.m. Sunday.

Mandatory evacuation zones stretch all the way west to the Pacific Ocean affecting 180,000 people. Sonoma County maintains current evacuation information, including a zoomable map.

Evacuation zones Kincade Fire
Evacuation zones. Map by Sonoma County. Check HERE for the most current data.

We will update this article as more information becomes available.

Additional evacuations ordered for Kincade Fire

While rescuing two civilians a firefighter used a fire shelter as a shield

Above: Looking east at 4:40 p.m. October 25 the camera at Geyser Peak photographed a large flare up on the Kincade Fire.

UPDATED at 7:37 p.m. PDT October 26, 2019

New evacuation orders and warnings have been issued for the Kincade Fire. Details are at the Sonoma County web site. Winds gusting to over 60 mph hour are in the forecast for the Kincade Fire area after 11 p.m. Saturday. This is a very serious situation and anyone in the identified areas needs to leave.

One of the more active areas on the fire Saturday was on the east side near Pine Flat Road, the same general location as the flareup Friday.

Saturday afternoon officials said 31 homes and 46 other structures have been destroyed.

Four Very Large Air Tankers were working the Kincade Fire Saturday afternoon preparing for the very strong wind later tonight: Tankers 910, 911, 914, and 944 — three DC-10s and the 747. Several other air tankers and helicopters were also engaged.

Below is the National Weather Service forecast for wind in the Kincade Fire area. The wind barbs point to the direction the wind will be from, in this case, after 7 p.m. north-northeast or northeast through Monday morning. The upper line represents wind gusts.

Wind Forecast Kincade Fire
Wind forecast, Kincade Fire Area, beginning Saturday October 26. Click to enlarge.

7:45 a.m. PDT October 26, 2019

Friday afternoon the Kincade Fire east of Geyserville, California consumed about 4,000 more acres as winds that shifted 180 degrees, twice, pushed it in various directions. At the Healdsburg Hills North weather station the wind in the morning was from the north until 11 a.m. when it became out of the south at 7 to 15 mph gusting at 10 to 24 mph. Then between 5 and 6:30 p.m. it made a slow direction change to north at 12 to 15 gusting at 15 to 26. This resulted in the fire spreading on the north and east sides. As of Saturday morning it has burned 25,455 acres.

(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Kincade Fire, including the most recent, click here.)

New evacuation orders were issued overnight. The map maintained by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s office can be accessed here.

CAL FIRE confirmed that a firefighter and two civilians were transported to a hospital by ground ambulance to be evaluated after an incident within the incident. At approximately 6:20 p.m. Friday a firefighter was helping get two civilians to safety who were attempting to evacuate as the fire activity intensified. The firefighter deployed his fire shelter to shield them from the fire. All injuries appear to be non-life threatening.

Map Kincade Fire
Map of the Kincade Fire showing the perimeter at 11:17 p.m. October 25, 2019.

The light wind predicted for Saturday is not expected to be a major factor on the fire, but beginning at 11 p.m. it will increase through the rest of the night to 33 mph gusting out of the northeast at 60. It should decrease on Sunday afternoon to 17 mph with gusts around 30.

The Healdsburg Hills North weather station is operated by Pacific Gas and Electric and judging from the coordinates appears to be mounted on a high voltage transmission tower. That location on the east side of the fire (see map) was burned over Friday afternoon between 6:20 and 6:30 p.m. Within a 20-minute period the recorded temperature increased from 80 to 114 degrees, then by 7:30 p.m. it was back to 80 degrees.

Weather observations Kincade Fire
Weather observations at the Healdsburg Hills North weather station October 25, 2018 as the site was burned over by the Kincade Fire.

CAL FIRE reports that 79 structures have been destroyed.

Resources assigned to the Kincade Fire include 53 hand crews, 179 engines, 24 water tenders, 24 dozers, and 10 helicopters for a total of 2,090 personnel.

Kincade Fire forces evacuation of Geyserville, California

New mapping shows the fire has burned 19,529 acres

UPDATED at 5:56 p.m. PDT October 25, 2019

The Kincade Fire was active Friday afternoon, and became more so after 3 p.m., sending up a very large column of smoke.

There are reports that during that period of enhanced activity Friday afternoon several firefighters and civilians took refuge in fire shelters that were deployed. Radio conversations indicated that it took place on Pine Flat Road on the east side of the fire. A number of ground and air ambulances were dispatched to the scene but apparently there were no injuries. This is all preliminary information and could change. It is not confirmed by CAL FIRE.

(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Kincade Fire, including the most recent, click here.)

Satellite photo smoke Kincade Fire
Satellite photo of smoke from the Kincade Fire at 4:40 p.m. PDT Oct. 25.

UPDATED at 11:26 a.m. PDT October 25, 2019

3-D map Kincade Fire 11:58 p.m. October 24, 2019
3-D map of the Kincade Fire showing the perimeter at 11:58 p.m. October 24, 2019. The orange shaded areas indicate intense heat. Looking north. Click to enlarge.

CAL FIRE reports that the Kincade Fire east of Geyserville in northern California has blackened 21,900 acres and destroyed 49 structures. About 735 structures are still threatened.

Evacuations have been ordered for about 2,000 people, including the entire town of Geyserville. All roads east of Highway 101 in the Geyserville area are closed.

From ABC7:

A CAL FIRE incident commander says the fire started near the Geysers Geothermal Plant, but they don’t know if the plant had anything to do with it. Firefighters also said they do not know if the PG&E power shutoff was in effect in the area at the time the blaze started.

According to a report filled by PG&E, they became aware of “Transmission level” outages on their Geysers line. On site CAL FIRE personnel brought to PG&E’s crew’s attention what appeared to be a broken jumper on the same tower.

map Kincade Fire 11:58 p.m. October 24, 2019
Map of the Kincade Fire showing the perimeter at 11:58 p.m. October 24, 2019. The orange shaded areas indicate intense heat.

Resources assigned to the fire include 77 fire engines, 10 water tenders, 12 helicopters, 38 hand crews, and 32 dozers for a total of 1,283 personnel.


UPDATED at 11:14 a.m. PDT October 24, 2019

map Kincade Fire
Map showing heat on the Kincade Fire detected by a satellite at 3:42 a.m. PDT Oct. 24, 2019. Click to enlarge.

Weather forecasters expect the strong north-northeast winds pushing the Kincade Fire to slowly decrease by midday and through the afternoon. Afternoon highs will be near record levels in the low 90s. Humidity values will remain critically low in the single digits even with light offshore winds later this afternoon. North winds at 5 to 10 mph will continue Thursday night and Friday.

A stronger offshore wind event will arrive Saturday night into Sunday with damaging winds and critical fire weather conditions.


9:18 a.m. PDT October 24, 2019

The Kincade Fire, first reported at 9:27 Wednesday night northeast of Geyserville, California has forced the evacuation of the entire town with a population of about 862 people. At 4 a.m. Thursday CAL FIRE estimated the fire had burned about 10,000 acres.

The fire is 63 miles north of San Francisco.

The rapidly spreading fire is being pushed by strong north-northeast winds with sustained speeds of 45 to 60 mph with a maximum gust of 76 mph at the Healdsburg Hills North weather station. Overnight the humidity has been in the low teens with temperatures around 70.

Some structures have burned but the number is unknown. The Press Democrat reported that spot fires were starting far ahead of the main fire:

Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman said an ember was thrown about a mile from the fire front onto a home off Red Winery Road that was destroyed.

The Sonoma County Sheriff sent an alert at 6:23 a.m. Thursday announcing the immediate evacuation of Geyserville, saying the Kincade Fire had crossed Highway 128 near Moody Lane and was heading west. Earlier homes were evacuated in several areas east of Geyserville.  Evacuation centers were established at Healdsburg Community Center and Windsor High School.

There is a report that the fire started near one of the geothermal power plants.

The photos below were taken by the Alert Wildfire network at around 7:54 a.m. PDT October 24.

Kincade Fire
Pepperwood East cam.
Kincade Fire
St. Helena cam.
Kincade Fire
Geyser Peak cam.