Napa County bush fire grows rapidly forcing hospital and thousands of residents to evacuate

A fire in Napa County, California, has rapidly burned 2,500 acres, forcing a local hospital to evacuate while placing more than 7,000 people under evacuation notices.

The fire is burning near St. Helena, about 25 miles east of Santa Rosa.

California Fire said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

There are 743 homes and about 1,857 people under a mandatory evacuation order, while additional 2,123 homes and 5,282 people under an evacuation warning, which means they should be prepared to leave if necessary.

More than 2,200 structures are threatened by the Glass Fire as of Sunday night, which began as a 20-acre bush fire near Deer Park.

Officials are extremely concerned about winds picking up. The National Weather Service has placed Northern California under a Red Flag Warning for fire danger.

A new blaze in Northern California named the Zogg Fire has grown to 1,000 acres in just a few hours after it started this afternoon in Shasta County. Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect in some areas.

St. Helena Hospital was evacuated out of an abundance of caution, the second time the hospital has evacuated this fire season.

Evacuation orders are in place for parts of the surrounding area, and an evacuation center has been opened at the Crosswalk Community Church in Napa. Residents are heeding the warnings, said Napa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Henry Wofford.

At least 65,000 homes are set to affected with power shut-offs to prevent wildfires in Northern California.

The blaze continues a remarkable wildfire season in the western US that scientists warn is a preview of a new normal as human activity and carbon emissions make the earth hotter and dryer.

Nine months into the year, more than 44,000 fires across the US have burned more than 7.1 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. That’s already 1 million more burned acres than the yearly average over the last 10 years. An average of 46,409 fires are reported each year.

In California, five of the state’s top 10 largest fires in recorded history, in terms of acreage, have occurred in 2020 and are still burning.