The death toll from the fires has hit 41, and officials believe that number will rise as searchers make their way through the neighborhoods in Santa Rosa that burned down as well as mountain communities across wine country.
What you need to know:
- Officials said Monday they are making good progress on the massive Tubbs and Atlas fires, which are both more than 60% contained.
- Crews have also achieved 50% containment on the Nuns fire, but a smaller adjacent blaze near the Oakmont neighborhood of Santa Rosa continues to cause trouble.
- Mandatory evacuation orders for Calistoga residents east of the Tubbs fire and locals living south of Lake Curry east of the Atlas fire have been lifted. Orders remain in place for several communities to the Atlas fire's north, east and south flanks.
- Over the next few days, weather conditions are expected to improve significantly.
- Northern California fires have scorched more than 220,000 acres since they began Oct. 8. As many as 10,000 firefighters from throughout California and surrounding states have battled the fires around the clock.
At around 2 a.m., the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office ordered evacuations around Kay Drive and Mark West Station Road in Windsor. Jen Ancic, 31, fled with her two young sons and boyfriend.
As the family drove north on U.S. Highway 101, Ancic said she could see buildings and trees burning.
“The whole town was on fire,” she said. “It was crazy."
A Santa Rosa native, Ancic said fires in the mountains are not uncommon, but that “nothing like this has happened in Santa Rosa.”
She was devastated to learn from online news reports that Coffey Park, where she’d played as a child and had recently held a birthday party for her son, had burned.
“There’s nothing left,” Ancic said.