tv America This Morning ABC October 13, 2017 4:00am-4:30am PDT
a welcome break from the wind this morning as firefighters working triple shifts trying to get a handle on the ferocious wildfires threatening many north bay communities. >> the north bay fires continue to grow as the death toll grows up. >> burning more than 126,000 acres. the atlas fire in napa and sonoma has charred nearly 44,000 acres. that is 7% contained. >> the tubbs fire in santa rosa has scorched nearly 35,000 acres. in mendocino the redwood/potter fires consumed 34,000 acres, also at 10% contained. officials say at least 31 people have died in the fires. 17 of them in sonoma county. >> one of the big concerns is
still the winds, roads in the north bay closed. we have drew tuma in. >> they have that 24-hour window. the winds will remain calm but overnight tonight into saturday morning they become active again. the winds are certainly going to be an issue as we head into saturday morning. a live look outside. you can already see the smoke and the haze. air quality a big issue today. very unhealthy in the north bay but unhealthy across the entire region and even into saturday we really don't get any relief from this poor air quality. winds right now are calm to light but watch what happens. future tracker wind gusts as we get you into late tonight and early saturday morning those winds, unfortunately, will increase with frequent gusts over 30 miles per hour and that will bring more smoke into the rest of the bay area. that's weather. a check of the roads with sue. good morning. good morning. we'll start with a sig
involving the caldecott the right bore has reopened. if there's a good news situation it is eastbound, the reverse commute. sig alert still in effect and cleanup crews are just now get to go that right bore to get it open. an overturned vehicle northbound 101 at the river road off ramp. the on ramp is also affected. so far traffic through the area is running nicely on 101 through the santa rosa area towards windsor. we will have road closures as you can see by the purple. those are fire related. as sue mentioned we're tracking that news out of the east bay. a dump truck fire in the caldecott tunnel in bore number one. you can see the front end of the truck just charred.
they say accessing the fire was not easy. they had to walk in. once they saw the fire the chp closed all the lanes of eastbound traffic on highway 24 to get cars to turn around and actually get out of the tunnel. no one was hurt. right now chp is waiting for a tow truck to remove that dump truck that caught fire. the driver told investigators there was small fires in the engine compartment. he stopped to see what was wrong. it just took over, though. the truck was carrying an unidentified barrel. they called it a hazmat crew -- they called in a hazmat crew, i should say, to check out the situation. we'll keep you updated on the situation there. >> mandatory evacuation orders are under way in sonoma. >> they're taking a stand to try to save their homes.
amy hollyfield is live. amy? >> reporter: homeowners who have been on guard felt confident enough to leave their post and go to bed tonight. take a look at all of the equipment they have brought in to help protect their homes. there is a water truck and they also brought in a backhoe to carve out defensible space around their homes. the fire chief says he's determined to stay. >> as a firefighter i knew i could make a stand. we're not going to cut and run. this is my sandbox. i've done this for 30 years. >> reporter: the smoke and flames are less than two miles away from this neighborhood. this whole neighborhood has been ordered to evacuate. if the winds pick up and start pushing the fire this way, the homeowner says he will leave. police have told us they can't
force people to leave. they do have the right to stay. reporting live in sonoma, amy hollyfield, abc 7 news. thank you. mandatory evacuation orders are in effect for thousands of people. >> this shows exactly where the areas are. you can see them highlighted in red. the largest evacuation areas are near napa north of santa rosa and in the redwood valley. you can find a full list of zones, maps, and evacuation centers on abc7news.com and on our abc 7 news app. at the live desk air quality officials say the smoky air that we've been having from all these fires is both unhealthy and unprecedented. the dangerous air quality prompted the closure of schools in the mt. diablo school district and cal state east bay in concord. doctors say the smoke is carrying invisible particles that can harm your lungs especially if you have a pre-existing condition and that
is the concern. you want to be careful every day and protect yourself. wear an n- 5 mask. your best bet is to stay indoors if you can. bay area hospitals have been treating people for breathing problems. another seven in oakland and nine in berkeley. the sonoma county sheriff has released more names. >> leroy peter halbur and donna mae halbur. carmen berriz. michael john dornbach. and from santa rosa veronic combs, lin anderson powell and arthur tasmas grant and his wife, suiko grant. >> the grant family showed a
picture of their parents. they met in hawaii with her father flew for pan am. her father arthur was 95 years old. arthur served in the navy during world war ii and trained as a fighter pilot. >> linda tunis is confirmed to have died. her daughter said she could hear smoke alarms blazing in the background while talking to her mother on the phone. christina hanson's family members have confirmed she also died in the fire. the tubbs fire destroyed hanson's home. hanson relied on a wheelchair to get around. this morning about 400 people remain unaccounted for in sonoma county. hundreds of firefighters remain on the front lines. some are getting a much-needed break after working more than 24 hours straight. eric thomas has the details.
>> reporter: there are still priorities before these weary firefighters can sleep. make sure the tools are maintained for the next day on the line. then eat and try to stay awake while gobbling it down and only then can they -- >> get as much sleep as possible. >> reporter: justice is part of a crew that spent 36 straight hours fighting the atlas fire. they were assigned to individual shelters. >> we have tents here. we have portable showers. we feed them on site, try to get them as much rest and calories as we can. >> reporter: not only because the flames continue to threaten homes in the north bay but also because the winds could pick up again this weekend threatening the work that's already been done. >> with the winds do what we can to establish and maintain the control lines we do have. >> reporter: there are fire trucks and firefighters from alt
it's still not enough. already the intensity of the fire and shortage of resources have forced men and women to stay on the line longer than their normal 24-hour shift and these firefighters wouldn't be surprised if that happens again. >> it's tiring, a lot of work, but got to love it. >> reporter: justin is one of the lucky ones who can fall asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow. they're going to be up early this morning, probably by 7:00, get something to eat, their briefing, be out by 8:00 and back on the fire lines. yeah, it's been tiring, dirty, hot, and there's still a lot of work ahead. eric thomas, abc 7 news. the winds are going to cooperate for firefighters today. it's a different story early saturday morning. those winds are going to increase once again. current numbers out there, it is chilly up north.
we're at 53 in san francisco. that current number in hayward. you see the freeze warning in effect with temperatures getting very chilly in the 30s. that lasting until 9:00 a.m. today. winds right now thankfully are calm to light. anywhere less than 5 miles per hour this hour. you look at the 24-hour wind gust forecast and this is for the north bay and you see as we head into the early portion of saturday morning those winds will greatly increase. we have that fire danger in effect, a high for the red flag warning for the gusty winds and the north bay hills and east bay hills, that lasting until 7:00 tomorrow and a wind advisory also in effect for the areas you see shaded in yellow because the winds will crank. highs today low 60s on the coast. mid-60s to mid-70s elsewhere. remember, that air quality running unhealthy for everyone once again. all right, that's a weather. check out the roads with sue.
good morning. good morning, drew. good morning, everyone. we start your friday morning early with a sig alert. this one involving this truck fire that is now out, but it was in the caldecott tunnel, had both bores in the eastbound direction closed. now the right remains closed. they have cleanup crews on scene. hopefully they'll get that open before the commute starts. it is in the reverse commute direction, westbound no problem getting through. road closures due to the fires, this is primarily in the calistoga areas, highways 29 and 128. the purple remains -- both lanes both directions are closed. of course they have evacuations in place for calistoga. we'll be back with an overturned vehicle in the santa rosa area in a few minutes. sue, so many closures in the north bay, so much information still pouring in. we'll get you the very latest on the fire still raging this morning up next.
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make the call to the veterans crisis line or military crisis line. during times of crisis, reach out and call. dial 1-800-273-8255 and press 1. welcome back. at the live desk the death toll from the many wildfires in northern california is now up 3031. officials say 17 of the victims died in sonoma. flames are burning right up to highway 29. cal fire's director says every fire in the state received an influx of new resources yesterday allowing firefighters to get some much-needed rest. the ten fires burning in napa, sonoma and mendocino counties now have burned more than 126,000 acres. those are the latest numbers. >> and the fire spread quickly overnight sunday into monday. chp releasing the short video
taken around 3:00 a.m. on monday in the coffey park neighborhood. we know the devastation there now. the homes on fire everywhere you look. >> and that is what is left of the neighborhood now. sky 7 flew overhead yesterday afternoon. we're starting with a wide view and now we're zooming in closer so you can see what we're talking about. such widespread destruction, nearly every home gone. the show of support for the victims in santa rosa is so strong, it is actually spilling strong, it is actually spilling over. across town the elsie allen campus was turned into the largest yard sale, everything for free. >> people are really back on america. we complain about america but we're so lucky to be here.
we are so, so lucky. >> what a perspective. a nonprofit provider was destroyed in the fire. a gofundme page has been set up to help inova rebuild. this next story starts with great loss and ends with great generosity. we met an ironworker who learned the fire stole just about everything he owned including the tools that provide his livelihood. >> he got help from a mom who knows what it's like to lose something precious. matt keller was there as the two strangers connected. >> reporter: the recovery in santa rosa begins in san pablo. >> picking up some tools. >> reporter: the ironworker's home in coffey park and his tools were destroyed monday. abc 7 news interviewed about his escape. >> actually, i saw dana on the news. i was playing with my phone and i heard ironworker.
i looked over and caught his last name. >> reporter: she reached out to let him know she had a full set of ironworker tools. they connected and this morning met at the ewings' house in san pablo. >> there's harnessing and the tool belt. >> reporter: but there's something special about these tools. they belong to another ironworker named michael ewing. michael and david ewing's son. >> michael was what they call a rock buster, he did rebar work. >> reporter: michael died two years ago at the age of 31 of colon cancer. his mom and dad knew his tools would be valuable to someone. because of the devastating fire in santa rosa that someone turned out to be dana hanson. >> is it enough to get you back to work? >> yes, absolutely. >> i'm so glad. >> reporter: the future is unknown for dana. he's been in contact with his insurance company but it's unclear when the rebuilding process will begin. but today he got a little bit back from the ashes and a grieving mother did, too.
>> it's like a testimonial to michael. and what he loved. and dana sounds like this is his passion, too. >> i'm proud to wear his tools and keep him on the steel. >> reporter: now that dana has michael's tools he's ready to go back on the job on monday. in san pablo, matt keller, abc 7 news. >> tht is a loving mom right there. >> when i was out there yesterday and the day before, i had literally people coming up to me saying i have money. i have supplies. who can i give it to? someone with just a huge chunk of money said i need to find someone deserving of this. >> so many great stories coming literally out of the ashes. >> the love that is there in spite of all the disaster is incredible. >> okay. so what we can hope for now is that we'll have some better weather today. is that the case? >> it is. it's a double-edged sword.
you don't want the winds for firefighters. without the wind the air is stagnant. you have the haze overhead, the smoke settling over us. the air quality will be unhealthy to very unhealthy across the region. but with those calm winds firefighters once again have a good window today getting a better handle on these fires. visibility right now you do see it's low in spots like napa at 4 miles. six half moon bay. we have some haze overhead. here is your air quality. this is right now current. anywhere from poor to unhealthy across the region. it will only get worse throughout the day. a spare the air day is in effect. winds, we'll take you into this evening. becoming breezy in the north bay. we'll be watching late tonight into early saturday morning and you can see the winds really pick up around fairfield and napa gusting over 30 miles an hour and then that will continue even into saturday morning itself. we are watching as well some beneficial rain maybe on the horizon next week. as we get you into next thursday
a system may try and dive south, bring us some showers that would really help firefighters. we'll keep our eye on that. smoky skies today continues into saturday with some lighter winds on sunday and then all eyes next thursday for that chance of showers. that's weather. the roads with sue. that rain cannot come soon enough. we start off your friday morning early with a sig alert. it involved a truck fire inside the caldecott tunnel. that fire is out. it happened some time ago but the right bore remains closed and you can see the yellow sensors heading eastbound. they are there cleaning up and it should be open. they don't have an exact time but should be open relatively quickly once they get the tow truck in there and get it out. you can get eastbound through the left bore and westbound your commute direction is not affected. we do have better news in the santa rosa area northbound 101 the river road off ramp is reopened. there was an overturned vehicle there and reports -- first reports of an overturn on highway 37 westbound.
we'll check on that when we come back. >> thank you, sue. we have much more coverage of the north bay fires coming up including stopping the flames. why vineyards have proven to be a natural fire break. a natural fire break. >> one student's where teams compete to make the right decisions about safe food preparations. our challenge in this round -- read and follow package cooking instructions, and use a food thermometer. let's see how our teams are doing so far -- team 1? we just got 100 points. we separated our raw food from our cooked food. team 2?
we got a 100-point green card for proper hand washing before our meal prep. referee: we've reached a critical safety point in the challenge. okay, team 1, let's check this out. uh-oh, not a safe internal temperature for those hamburgers. that puts everyone at high risk for food-borne illness. you get a red card -- undercooked. always read and follow the package cooking instructions and use a food thermometer. let's see how our winning team cooked it safe and avoided problems. well, i just kept focus on the four food safety steps -- clean, separate, cook, and chill. and we followed the package cooking instructions and took the temperature. can you cook it safe? for the thousands of wounded warriors returning from battle, wounded warrior project has developed the warriors to work program, a unique program that helps wounded warriors translate their military experience to the civilian workplace. the warriors to work program also works with employers
to find the right job for the right warrior. contact wounded warrior project at findwwp.org. welcome home the brave. fires have burned hundreds of structures in the vineyards. the vineyards are mostly intact and this is interesting. a spokesman with the grape growers believes the vines probably saved property and even lives. jennifer putnam says the fire just came up to the vineyard and stopped. it appears the open space of the vineyards which holds more moisture than oak forest became a natural fire break. the blood centers are urging people not in the fire zone to give blood. >> that's because several centers in the fire zone are closed right now. the donation center on industrial drive in santa rosa is in the evacuation zone and will remain shut through sunday.
a warehouse survived intact along with blood mobiles and supplies for blood drives. the donation center in napa is closed for the rest of the week. the fairfield center is expected to reopen today. >> you can text to donate $10 to the red cross. just text the word red cross to 90999 or call the number on your screen to volunteer. that number is in accuweather today the winds will be calm. that's great news for firefighters. air quality is still unhealthy to very unhealthy the next 24 hours. you can take a live look outside the exploratorium camera. there's a bit of a haze over our skyline once again and your air quality the next two days you can see really no relief for anybody. that air quality still on the poor side. wind right now good for firefighters. they are calm to less than 5 miles per hour. it will stay that way the entire day. hazy skies the entire day.
mid-70s for the most part in our afternoon high. a check of traffic. sue, good morning. >> we start off early with a sig alert at the caldecott tunnel in the eastbound direction. so if that's a little bit of saving grace it's the reverse commute. eastbound 24 the right bore remains closed. they do have cleanup crews. there was an earlier truck fire in the tunnel. they almost got it cleared out. it's in the reverse commute direction. right near the raceway there and we'll check back with chp. i'm not seeing any slow traffic along the 37 freeway or highway ther but sensors are green so we'll check back on that. also with some road closures throughout santa rosa on and off ramps. 101 does remain open through santa rosa. back in a few. >> thank you, sue. the idea of helping fire victims turned into an avalanche of generosity at city college of san francisco. you're looking at clothes and toys and food and other items
collected by students taking a child development class. many of them teach in local preschools. one young woman organized the impromptu drive. she believed all the things her classmates would give would fit in her car. a mountain of items is being stored on campus until that can be delivered. next, holding the line in calistoga. the highway that now stands between homes and another fire disaster. >> learning about troubling allegations involving dozens of senior is tcitizens who may hav been left behind. it's a story you'll only see here on 7. here on 7. plus, finally some we were told nothing could be done, to enjoy these final moments together. but in that moment, when all seemed lost... st. jude children's research hospital gave us hope.
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from our live desk. firefighters making those strides battling the ten fires. the tubbs fire is a huge one in santa rosa. it has grown to nearly 35,000 acres. now 10% contained. the atlas fire burning in napa and sonoma counties has scorched nearly 44,000 acres. it is at 7% containment. officials have increased the death toll to 31 people. 17 victims have been found in sonoma county alone. unfortunately, those numbers, though, expected to increase. reggie and natasha, back to you. >> jessica, thank you. we continue to watch calistoga closely this morning. fire has not crossed into town but it is close enough to keep those mandatory evacuation orders in place. >> let's go live now to abc 7 news reporter matt keller in napa county. matt? >> reporter: good morning, natasha and reggie. we were here yesterday a