A massive wildfire, aided by wind gusts of up to 76 miles per hour, burned through Sonoma County, California, north of San Francisco on Thursday (Oct. 24). Ripping through one of California’s biggest wine-producing regions, the Kincade fire has burned more than 21,000 acres, an area about half the size of Washington, DC.
As of this morning, the fire was only 5% contained. Several wineries and vineyards have closed or were evacuated as the fire crept closer. The Tubbs fire, a damaging 2017 fire, burned 36,000 acres total across Sonoma and Napa counties.
In anticipation of the fire, power utility PG&E preemptively cut off power to 178,000 customers. Reuters reported that as of Friday, most of those customers have had their service restored. But as the fire has ballooned in size, more blackouts may be on the horizon.
Officials are looking for the cause of the blaze. PG&E has said a malfunctioning portion of their infrastructure may be to blame.
Photos show the fast-moving blaze, which spread quickly due to the Diablo wind pattern and low humidity. So far, 2,000 people have been ordered to evacuate, mostly from the town of Geyserville at the northern end of the county.
The Kincade fire is by no means the only blaze in California. Several are currently burning, including the Tick fire in Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles. While its size is significantly smaller, only 4,300 acres, 40,000 people have been evacuated from the area.