'Civilians weren't in the way:' Cal Fire contains 45% of Kincade Fire
SANTA ROSA, Calif. - The overnight winds were not as bad as predicted and by Wednesday evening Cal Fire crews contained 45% of the Kincade Fire, which began burning a week ago in Geyserville and has now spread to three Northern California counties.
"Last night was a huge success," said Cal Fire's Robert Foxworthy.
As a result, Pacific Gas & Electric on Wednesday canceled power shutoffs in Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties and firefighters kept the massive fire, which has now charred 76,825 acres, from speading.
Foxworthy said crews on Wednesday will put a special focus on the eastern front of the fire near Lake County.
"It's hottest there," he said, adding that the heaviest materials are also burning in that area.
Calmer winds, which still reached 67 mph in the high parts of Sonoma County, helped fire crews get a handle on the fire. Last weekend, winds hit 90 to 100 mph in some fire areas.
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"Red Flag" warnings for the area expired late Wednesday afternoon. Cal Fire officials said 5,788 residents remain under mandatory evacuation orders. They are primarily in and near burn zones. As many as 6,400 people remain under evacuation warning.
In all, Cal Fire said that more than 90,000 structures remain threatened and 266 have been destroyed. Two firefighters have been injured. No civilians have been injured or died in the fire, Cal Fire said.
In comparision, the Camp Fire in Butte County last year destroyed 18,000 structures, killed 85 people and caused more than $16.5 billion in damage.
Foxworthy said property and lives were saved because the majority of residents followed evacuation warnings.
"We could focus because civilians weren't in the way," he said. "The fact that they weren't there this time, made it easier."