A rapidly spreading wildfire driven by strong winds exploded in Sonoma County, prompting evacuation orders for residents east of Geyserville.

The Kincade fire is an estimated 1,000 acres and has no containment, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It is being driven by strong north winds and is moving south, a Cal Fire spokeswoman said Wednesday night. It started in a mountainous area near Kincade Road and Burned Mountain Road, according to preliminary information.

An evacuation order is in place for Geysers Road to California 128, Pine Flat Road and Red Winery Road.

Kincade fire evacuation map

The Kincade fire evacuation map as of 11:20 p.m. Wednesday.

Sonoma County emergency officials sent out an alert to residents about 10:47 p.m.

“There is a fire near Pine Flat Rd and Cervieres Rd. Evacuate now towards Healdsburg,” the alert read.

Residents are advised to leave immediately if they are on or near these roads.

The communities of northern Healdsburg and Geyserville are under an evacuation warning. Officials are advising residents in those towns to be ready to flee.

“If you feel unsafe, evacuate,” the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said in an advisory sent Wednesday night.

A video of the fire posted on Facebook by the Geyserville Fire Protection District was narrated by Capt. Joe Stewart from the top of Pine Flat Road on a fire trail, looking north. The fire was burning northwest, whipped by winds of 40 mph to 50 mph, perhaps 60 mph.

“The fire is moving at a dangerous rate,” Stewart said. “If you are woken by emergency alerts, please heed those warnings and evacuate.”

State Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) said on Twitter that “significant resources from across the region are responding – Engines, air attack, personnel and bulldozers.”

UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain said on Twitter that the fire “may well burn all the way toward east side” of the Alexander Valley, “where [a] nearly continuous line of vineyards will hopefully act as broad firebreak. 65mph+ winds in hills, but nearly calm in valleys.”

The fire comes two years after a series of blazes devastated Santa Rosa and other wine country communities, leaving dozens dead and thousands of homes lost. Residents of Santa Rosa were on edge early Thursday morning with the fire burning to the north.

The fire comes amid a night of intense winds, with gusts topping 50 mph in areas around the fire.

Large swaths of California are facing red-flag fire danger this week because of hot temperatures and strong winds. That has prompted preventive power outages in many areas, including parts of wine country.

More than half a million utility customers could lose power this week.

Southern California Edison said more than 308,000 customers in seven counties — Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, Kern and Santa Barbara — could face blackouts starting Wednesday night and rolling into midday Thursday.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. on Wednesday shut off power to customers in the Sierra Nevada foothills about 2 p.m. An hour later, counties in the north San Francisco Bay Area began to lose service. By 1 a.m. Thursday, portions of San Mateo and Kern counties will also be in the dark. In total, 179,000 customers are expected to have their power cut.





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