Milder weather helps in Glass Fire fight, but hotter days are forecast

The Glass Fire was at 2 percent containment Tuesday evening, but there were signs of progress helped by milder weather, Sonoma County officials said at an online briefing. “Firefighters have hopefully gained the upper hand with winds having died down significantly from Monday,” county Communications Manager Paul Gullixson said.

Chief Ben Nicholls of the Cal Fire Santa Rosa unit said crews have started constructing containment lines to lessen the spread of the fire, which has consumed 42,600 acres since starting early Sunday morning. The fire has destroyed 113 structures, including 52 homes in Napa County and 28 in Sonoma County, and more than 10,000 structures remain threatened.

The favorable weather may not last, with the possibility of a red flag warning being issued for Wednesday and Thursday as temperatures are expected to climb to 100 degrees. Santa Rosa Fire Chief Tony Gossner said crews are extinguishing hot spots to ensure nothing reignites in hot weather.

“We’ve got a lot of fire on the ground still, but there’s a lot that can still burn,” he said.

On Tuesday, “Aircraft operations were inhibited by smoky conditions and poor visibility,” according to Cal Fire.

An end to the mandatory evacuation order for the city of Calistoga “is not anticipated to occur in the near term,” the city said, and police are patrolling to ensure that people stay away. Santa Rosa Police Chief Ray Navarro said his department has located all missing persons reported in the city so far and said the public should not hesitate to inform the department of anyone unaccounted for. Sonoma Sheriff Mark Essick said deputies have made five arrests of people entering evacuation zones, but that none have been for looting.

Essick noted that this is the fourth major fire in the area since 2017, saying “We all have fire fatigue.”

Santa Rosa Junior College announced that it will remain closed through Friday due to the fire and resulting evacuations and power outages.

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