tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC October 9, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
one fire to the other. they're not just assigned to one incident to stay. we may share the resources with the other fires in sonoma and napa county. [ inaudible ] >> our regional northern operations center, they decide the priority for the incidents and where the resources go and how they are prioritized and sent to these -- to these incidents. >> what do they look at though to -- >> they look at first and foremost life safety, life safety for the incident, is there homes, people in the way of the incident and there is life safety or just vegetation. those types of criteria is what they look at assigning the resources. [ inaudible ] >> as it's been covered it's
really multiprong approach. we have many areas of the fire that are still hot that don't have direct line on them. and our number one priority is to get direct line on the entire flanks of the fire. at the same time going through and making sure that all the homes that have hot spots around them are secured and those hot spots are put out so we have no further loss of structures from unneeded hot spots. it takes a lot of resources to do that. and that's why we have continuing requests for resources to come and aid with that. [ inaudible ] >> how unusual is it for 14 fires to start at the same time? is there something common? it's unusual to have 14 resist fires at the same time. >> not necessarily. when you have those type of
winds. this is california. and we get a lot of wildland fires. i don't think the public understands how many fires we get during a fire season. we have a lot of our units up and down the state, the 21 units split up with the counties responding to filedland fires throughout the day and night up and down the state. when you add a 50 miles an hour wind throughout many counties, the fires are -- they get very large before resources can get out at scene and contain them. >> a raining of possible cause zblas a raining of possible causes absolutely. [ inaudible ] >> i have no information on that. all the fires are under investigation with our investigators. >> is the city water pressure adequate? [ inaudible ] >> it's very significant. sometimes we get the wind events and we get away with it. other times we get caught. and that's why i urged the
public to be very cautious with -- with just the every day ordinary activities that they do. out cutting fire wood or using power equipment. those types of things. these conditions when it's windy shouldn't be taken on at all because these little sparks just go. and there is a wide range of causes sparking the fires when they're investigated. >> there was a mention earlier that the number of gaps maintained -- can somebody ee rab late. [ inaudible ] >> as my partners have said before we're still trying to evacuate people. we don't have people in all the areas to start -- we are still evacuating there is no searching, no looking yet. so there is a lot of burned homes and a lot of burned areas. we it's just logical we will find more people. that's literally all i have.
we don't know where the seven were but that's just the beginning. [ inaudible ] >> it depends on when in fire gets contained. we are just supporting fire trying to get the houses out of the which as the fire moves. it's not under control yet. >> i i just wanted to clarify that there are 24 evacuation siting now open. there are hundreds of people at the sites. there were a lot of seniors busted in from residential assisted living and trying to connect them up with loved ones. we literally requested 50 oh more cops. at the center from the state. again the state is being great partners but we have a tremendous amount of people in need right now. we wanted them to be safe more than anything. i do want to say if you have a neighbor that is disabled or
senior, and would have problems evacuating, by all means, please, please, reach out to them and assist them safety is the primary concern right now. >> this will end the press briefing we will do some individual interviews if you want afterwards. as you hear by the command staff and mayor, this fire activity is still ongoing. evacuations taking place we need to get the men and women out there back to work. so thank you. >> reporter: okay you've been listening to a news conference held by some of the local officials which included the city manager, the mayor, chp, police department, fire kind of giving us the nuts and bolts what's going on right now and they say that 17 hours after the fire started this is still a
very active fire. they are still under evacuation orders. they are still doing evacuations. in fact they say in one of the hardest areas the fountain grove area about 20 minutes ago still trying to evacuate people out of that. so this is by no means over. they stressing this is still volatile and dangerous. but i want to make sure everybody dmeers to the mandatory evacuations. in fact the police chief came out and said they are start ago curfew starting at sun set to sun rise. sun set is expected at 6:45? the in the evening. and they are warning people in the areas that are supposed to be evacuated after that curfew they will be making arrests. this is not only for the safety of the people, safety of first responders, a lot of the neighborhoods there are still spot fires they're working op. they've wraut in a lot of mutual aid. but they are strained at this point because some of the
firefighters have been working in fire since it started 17 hours ago. we also have updated numbers. they are saying 7 confirmed digit deaths this is what they know. but the fear is is that that number may go up as they manage to make it through some of the burned out neighborhood and look. 24 evacuation centers now open. the school district is also jumped in to help thp they are opening high schools and some middle schools. i'm sure we'll put that online for you to look at with the specific locations a and the names those are open and they're dealing with that. some other things they were talking about if i can bring my notes up talking about how they don't want people going into the areas. veriperson. chp says stay off the roads. if you don't have to drive somewhere, stay off the road. if you're in a seven location that's where you need to be staying. the mayor calling it horrific and terrifying night. saying that he was okay but the city of santa rosa is devastated
but they will persevere and come back. that was chris corsey saying they're frustrated by the scarcity of information that they've been able to get. but it's such a fluid and ongoing situation that it's hard to get all the information. they're doing the best job they can in giving people -- his direct quote was saying my city is not all right it's going to take a long time but we're a strong strong city and inadviceable city. congressman mike thompson coming out and saying that the governor has declared a state of emergency and now hoping that the federal government will also declare a state of emergency that they can free up some of the federal funds so they can get assistance from fema. that's what they're working on right now. so a lot of things are in play right now. to try to get aid to the people who need it in terms of evacuations and also in terms of just getting people food, water and to safety. because neighborhood and neighborhoods that you go to people are in devastating need.
my own kohl eek vicki nguyen you're from this area. it must be so heart if felt to hear all the mayor and the congressman talking about their loss and your loss as well. >> reporter: absolutely, jessica. we never want to be part of this story but in this case unavoidable. i grew up here. across the street that's the neighborhood that's the neighborhood i grew up went to the elementary school. robert who lives here on rams gate court off the west spring road. he lives here can you tell us the status of the home how did you get out. >> it's completely gone. we got out at 3 this morning. i got up at midnight i heard a a lot of commotion on the highway and there was a ton of traffic. i could see the fire throughout the hills here. >> it was just glowing red. >> glowing red all back over
here. i could see it coming. we hung in there to see what was happening. after an hour i told my wife and daughters and said you need to leave now i'll stick around. i left about a half hour later when the flames were behind the restaurant which is no longer here. >> it was the sound of molden vehicles not emergency call to the land line. >> we never got any kind of call or alert. everyone i know that's out in the area that i've been talking to none of us got a call or alert. >> there will be a lot of questions in the wake of this fire about what happened, how, when did we get to the people in time? my inlaws did get a call. their house is gone as well. but the next door neighbor, no call. had they not been light sleepers they wouldn't have heard it. >> tell me about the status of the neighbors, because they're in full life safety fire crews are going around to make sure people are alive and looking for brds. >> i haven't seen any of the neighbors except one who had the
office building here she lost it a little bit over here. >> yeah. >> she is the only neighbor i've seen on the street so far. i was just about the last neighbor to get out. i was moving redwood branch that is had fallen out of the trees on the street. i was moving them out of the way so people could leave. i was getting out late so everybody else could get out. my daughter came out to help me but they were too big. i got them enough out of the way to get the neighbors in here trying to evacuate and get out. >> what are you doing next? what will you do? where will you stay do you think you'll come back to rebuild. >> yes we will come back to rebuild. my mother-in-law who lives down the street here old redwood highway about a half mile her house is fine. we're going to stay there not too long hopefully. the good ning is we all got out the rest of it just all stuff. all stuff that can be replace zblod all day today we heard
from folks like yourself with the incredible spirit and the spirit of community. as you said you were risking your own life moving the tree branch power lines down everywhere talk to us about the community who didn't grow up tell us about santa rosa what the community is like. >> it's a strong community. everybody helps everybody. it's just -- i'm -- >> take as long as you need. >> reporter: i know this is a a lot of process. robert just came back to his court on rams gate in old redwood highway he has been so kind and gracious to speak with us about his experience. i want to let him finish his thought. because he is talking about the spirit of the folks living here in santa rosa. robert and i actually -- we both went to the high school together and his daughter teaching at
mark west elementary he was telling me. >> a school which is probably cart. >> mart of the mark west district. it didn't hit me until right now. but i've gotten a lot of calls from a lot of friends who said, you know, come and stay with us. stay with us a lot of support. fortunately our business didn't get -- didn't get affected even though in an area all around. we'll be able to continue working and with our company. but it's just -- this is devastating. i've driveren all over to other friends who are lost homes and it has been -- it's been devastating for a lot of people. i have a lot of friends who lost everything. everything. i'm trying to keep a positive attitude. we can rebuild. i mean it will take time but we can rebuild. frgt that was lost except for old pictures and keepsakes but
living here 36 years it's hard to walk up and see this. i dodged a whole bunch of areas that you're not supposed to drive in to get here. so because i needed to come and see it even though i saw it on youtube i needed to come and see it. it's not going to be fun when i bring my wife to look at where in has happened. >> a lot of families are praying and understand your heart ache. >> we'll be fine. everything will work out it will all work out we'll rebuild. >> we're all with you. and we support you and thank you so much robert for taking time on talking with us as you're taking it all in we appreciate it thank you very much. robert jaco in santa rosa. so you all know we are talking about an area -- i mean robert lived here 36 years. that's not uncommon here. people come to santa rosa, love it and want to stay. and raise kids here and build lives here. as you heard robert say he does plan to rebuild. hopefully will same will go for
many of the folks in the neighborhood. right back there mark west estates 195 homes gone in a subdivision. this could be a neighborhood in alameda, oakland, san jose, on the peninsula. i mean this is not a ruler area. this is the suburbs, track homes with many many people. and we heard from sheriff's deputies in there, the reason it's blocked off right now is because they are still combing through looking to see if there are any people who didn't make it out. and unfortunately the number of 7 dead here in sonoma county two in napa, one in mendocino county. officials speck the numbers to droe on they get a handle on kwhapd. the fire so quickly started in the middle of the night. you heard robert saying he didn't get the alert. he just heard the emergency vehicles coming. and that's what enabled him to get his family out safe. to help his neighbors.
jess. >> reporter: vicki it's unfathomable to think of all the loss they've experienced. so kind and generous for him to share his story when he is in so much pain. and it's a story repeated. for yourself i know as well. s in a enabled you grew up in. i know that your loss is palpable. but the neighborhoods at this time of day people are supposed to be making dinner kipped playing outside. instead they are dealing with in unbelievable loss and devastation where they don't have anything left. we heard the cal fire chief talking about they're still dealing with the spot fires petition we saw a crew are rushing in a punch of trucks to the turning the lights and sirens on heading the other direction. there is still a lot to deal with here in your neighborhood, in neighborhood. it's going to be throughout the evening. a lot of resources still needed. they're asking everyone to heed the evacuation orders and to heed that curfew that starts in just a little while.
so much still needs to be done. so many evacuations. and hopefully we'll start to get better news that the death toll has capped off. that's the only thing we're hoping for. it's the one thing people have said over and over. i lost everything but i have my family. of course we hear more of those stories that people say athey got out okay. >> back to raj and janelle. >> this is just sonoma county jessica and vicki is in. where the tegt death wines businesses and wineries there. >> in santa rosa that's the population base of the fires. but on the other end of the valley napa valley and napa county saying last night seven counties impacted by multiple fires insomnia an lake, napa, solano and mendocino. jodi hernandez joins us now in napa with more and jodi we're
hearing a lot about sonoma. what's the latest in napa? >> reporter: well, raj we're at the napa valley expo. this is the new command center for the fire here. we are told that we will not be getting updated numbers until about 7:00, that cal fire is estimating that well over 100 homes have been destroyed here. we have been in the neighborhoods. we have seen the devastation for ourselves. i'll tell you it is overwhelming. firefighters have been working feverishly to save houses in this exclusive napa valley neighborhood near silver add o country club. we watched as house after house went up in flames. there have been so many hot spots, fire crews simply can't get to them all. >> it started up on top. the peek road and then just
jumped from area to area within three hours. >> we got home right when it happened. and as we were driving home we literally saw the fire just growing bigger and bigger. i feel incredibly lucky and the fact my home is still there. and so many people's homes are gone. >> panicked residents left in the middle of the night. many still don't know if their homes are standing. >> you can control a lot of things in your life. you can't control this. >> but some have gotten the worst news possible. chuck rippy says his elderly parents ages 98 and 1090 didn't make it out. their caregiver narrowly escaped. >> she went down to get my father. and all the windows started to explode. and smoke and heat and all that everywhere. just couldn't find him. >> that man said his parents lived in that home for 40 years. they had been married or 75 years, a really awful thing for
him to come down and discover. he drove from new castle to his parents' home this morning to discover the very worst. he said the only thing bringing him comfort is that they left -- they died together. of course this is just such a devastating story. i want to show you behind me there is black smoke billowing behind me. we are told the fire is now moving from napa county into solano county pushing it's way over the mountain into green valley. that's my community. i just got an update that they are going door to door in solano county in green county urging people to evacuate. that's just right over the mountain from napa county in solano, the community i live in. also deer friends of ours lost everything in santa rosa. i have an aunt in a shelter in santa rosa as well.
so this impact is widespread. we are all feeling it. and we're all hoping they get control of this situation very soon. reporting live in napa, jodi hernandez. >> very difficult to hear. yes 1500 homes and structuresen a businesses destroyed in the fires. the fires fueled by those high winds yesterday. and overnight. and those winds causing the flames, the smoke and the ash to spread south into san francisco all the way down to san jose. and chief meteorologist more on the air quality in the bay area. >> it's the worst of course across marin napa and insomnia an counties. which are hearing from so many people who had no warning. some of the embers caught up in the wind gusts going 40 to 60-mile-per-hour. it was an event where there was no way to give any major advance warning when you again have embers going at 40 to
60-mile-per-hour. the big point i want to drive home is we are out of the gusty wind event. we don't expect to see anything close to that as we head throughout the week. current winds at the surface show them anywhere from 5 to 12-mile-per-hour. right here into the north bay 7 in santa rosa, 12 in napa. notice the blue arrows here that's the direction of the surface wind. we have seen it fluctuate throughout the day. right now it's more on shore. that's good news because it's increasing humidity and helping the firefighters. but it's switching the direction the way the fires are blowing. with that more on shore wind a lot of the heaviest smoke is blow blowing from santa rosa and napa towards the north. a little bit of shift in the wind. but the best news is we're not looking at 40 to 60-mile-per-hour wind gusts. west o we have a lot of information on the map. we want to recap where the five fires are burning. so bear with us here. we'll hit the top two first. the tubz fear at the it's at
least 25,000 acres. that's the fire where vicki anythingen has been reporting. the the atlas fire started near atlas peek road. latest update 30,000 erics .the this fire of 3,000 ericicers np the nun as county north of glen ellen. 5,000 erics. near sears point at 1500 eric acres. the lashlgts is the tubbs and atlas. now in terms of major devastation, it has been the most here in coffey park where we have nbc bay area jessica aguirre reporting process doingwood drive, coffey lane. sand miguel and also hopper ave hit hard. and the second zone of major devastation in pacific heights drive where vicki nguyen has been reporting.
i'll have an update coming up. >> shortly now of course santa rosa 101 cuts through and it's been remarkable on either side of 101 we have seen the flames and damage. jeff pointed coffey park. cardinal neumann high school in north santa rosa process that's destroyed. among the big businesses we mentioned the hilton kmart with mcdonald's and applebees. wineries in napa. both sides of napa and sonoma. >> wine country impacted. thom jensen was reporting in santa rosa this morning and captured terrifying moments. take a look. that is the the site of ammunition ignited at the gun shop engufld in flamz in santa rosa. as mentioned coffey park in santa rosa one of the areas hit hard effort in the city of santa rosa. >> mark mathewss has been bringing us compelling interviews with home owners and
people who fled the area. what's the latest right now? keep in mind the curfew kicks in in less than an hour? >> reporter: well, raj, the curfew kick in but right now we are seeing lots of people walking up and down the streets, driving up and down the street. we are at barns and month cell of some live here and checking on homes. some just hanging phones out the window in order to take video of the destruction. we are looking at gas fires now behind me. but the scores of homes hundreds of homes devastatesed by this fire. talking with people we heard many of the same stories how they woke in the middle of the night to a fire storm. >> i never heard a thing. i never saw a firefighter. i never heard anybody warn us to leave. >> sherry sharpe says she had no warning. >> we just threw some things together. but there were of things we left
behind. >> frank morewood lost everything in the time that he could have been collecting his valuables he was out of his house waking up his neighbors. >> you know what the bible says, material things doesn't really matter. but what matters is my family. >> derrick enden a his wife bought this house a year ago expecting their first child. they just finished remodelling the nursery. >> we worked so hard put everything we had into this house. and it's -- it was everything. >> you looking at live picture of cars moving down the street just a block from where we're standing now. people coming in the neighborhood. the neighborhood that we heard was going to be shut off. we have seen some police officers, sheriff's officers from the as far away as alameda county stopping at houses that that have not burned and checking on looting. one officer followed me he heard reports of looting but hadn't seen any himself.
reporting from the coffey park neighborhood here in santa rosa. mark mathews. >> thank you mark. a couple of things to pass eye saloon loo along. we are talking about volunteers they need volunteers the red cross does at elsie allen high school in santa rosa. if you're able to help the evacuees and help you're urged torg to the high school in santa rosa. we should add comcast is providing free wi-fi spots. that's been an issue of getting cell phone sft service out of areas we are owned by comcast. that's a zircht story. >> people need to get in touch with loved one. jeff ranieri fortunately the tufrmts go down and the wind have subsided. >> two great points. and that's what the big focus is on this update. we're trying to vary the information as much as possible. with he no he so many have been impacted by the smoke and we'll give you a closer look. all of the gray areas you see on this again is the smoke from the
fires burning in the north bay. five different fires. you can see how massive that smoke plume is not only over the north bay but some of the smoke filtered out to the pacific. a closer look at the area impacted the worst of course it's right on top of the fire zones. this is where it's critical that you're not breathing the smoke in for hours at a time. even if you're not evacuated but you have no way to filter the smoke from the house you don't have ac you may need to head to the evacuation center to breathe in clean air and get a break. napa, yountville, sonoma, rohnert park, santa rosa, communities nearby. that's where the smoke will continue to be the worst. now as we get look at the extended forecast what you see as janelle mentioned temperatures not too hot and that's great news for firefighters to get a handle on this. you can see from tuesday all the way through saturday temperatures in the 70s. and then we will see warmer low 80s by next sunday and monday.
what i've also done on the 7-day forecast in the north bay. this is a north bay 7-day forecast is highlighted what the wind will be the next several days. because that of course is going to be key to the firefighters. it's very variable in terms of the wind direction over the next few days. but the good news is no majored wind event like last night and early this morning. on tuesday it ranges 5 to 10. wednesday 5 to 15, thursday 5 to 13, friday 5 to 10-mile-per-hour. here is the thing we are wachb out by saturday and sunday we could have more dry winds out of the northeast 10 to 20-mile-per-hour. that would be another fire wind. we have got to watch this closely because that could actually spread and start more fires. i don't want to panic you -- excuse me or freak you out at this point but that could set off another red flag fire warning. overall temperatures cooling off this week and generally we'll see variable wind the next few day was winds 5 to 15-mile-per-hour and that smoke
filtering in across the bay area. so i do think firefighters will be getting help in the next few day air quality alert in place. limit the outdoor exposure. keep your aaron recirculate in the car and at home. check out the. ac is tas has an arrow in the button it kicks pl takes the care in the car keeping it in so you're not taking in air from outside. if you suffer from symptoms including vomiting too much you may need to check yourself into the emergency room. we have full coverage at nbc bay area.com. if you want more updates we've a stream going there. get the app you'll get the alerts as we get enemy. >> jeff we will see you shortly. if you're tongue in it's 6:00. we need reporting nonstop sints four in the morning. we'll keep ut povertied with the latest in nap an and the latest in the sonoma county process. but five to six minutes ago we get reports of an earthquake in san jose. perhaps you felt
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