SONOMA (KPIX) — Strong winds overnight whipped a fire burning above Sonoma into a frenzy, sending a spray of hot embers from the hills onto homes below.
FULL COVERAGE: Wine Country Wildfires
“The winds worked in our favor for much of the day yesterday but about one o’clock in the morning, the winds surfaced and switched directions on us,” Cal Fire spokesman Josh Campbell told KPIX.
The changing weather conditions forced firefighters to issue expanded evacuation orders and many homes and business which survived the fire’s initial onslaught found themselves threatened again.
Homeowner Norm Cram evacuated his house last Sunday and was preparing to leave it again as the wildfire flared up overnight.
“I looked to the east and there was just a massive, orange glow,” Cram said.
“A major concern was keeping the fire out of downtown Sonoma and protecting the structures that were in the town of Sonoma,” Campbell said.
Firefighters were able to save the historic Buena Vista winery — the oldest in California. Flames blackened the hillside before finally being stopped at the winery’s front door.