SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Authorities on Tuesday released the names of three people killed in the Hennessey Fire in Napa County. Meanwhile, firefighters extended containment on three massive wildfire complexes burning across the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California.
The three Napa County fire victims were identified as: Mary Kathryn Hintemeyer, 70; Leo Thomas McDermott, 71; and Thomas Leo McDermott, 40. Thomas Leo McDermott was the son of Leo Thomas McDermott. Their bodies were discovered Aug. 19 in the
state Highway 128 home where they lived, according to Napa County sheriff’s spokesman Henry Wofford.
The deaths were “directly related” to the LNU Lightning Complex fires, of which the Hennessey Fire is the largest blaze, Wofford said in a statement.
The home burned Aug. 18, the day after the fires were started by lightning, but the exact time and date of death is unknown, Wofford said.
The burned home where Hintemeyer and both McDermotts died is in a steep, heavily wooded area south of Lake Berryessa.
Firefighters worked Tuesday as a high-pressure system continued to build offshore in the Pacific with the threat of still winds and soaring temperatures over the Labor Day weekend.
“[The high-pressure system] will bring about a robust warming trend on Saturday with widespread 90s across the interior, 80s near the San Francisco Bay shoreline and 70s just inland from the immediate coastline,” the National Weather Service said. “Warming will continue into Sunday and potentially into Monday as the warmest interior locations reach up to 100-105 degrees with a few locations exceeding the 105 degrees.”
LNU Lightning Complex
Cal Fire officials said the massive LNU Lightning Complex burning in wine country will also be fully contained by Sept. 3rd. The complex of wildfires has burned at least 375,209 acres and destroyed at least 1,289 homes and other buildings. The fires were sparked by lightning Aug. 17 and have burned in Sonoma, Napa, Lake, Yolo, Solano and Colusa counties.
Five people have died in the LNU Complex fires, three in Napa County and two in Solano County.
“Dry weather continues with hotter than usual temperatures this week,” Cal Fire LNU officials said. “Crews will work to mitigate additional fire growth in the north and east areas of the complex.”
SCU Lightning Complex
For the first time Tuesday morning, Cal Fire officials said they expect to have full containment of the sprawling SCU Lightning Complex by Sept. 3rd. Late Tuesday morning, evacuation warnings were lifted for areas of Santa Clara County.
The complex had burned 390,157 acres in multiple locations in Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced and San Benito counties since it was ignited by dry lightning strikes roughly two weeks ago and was 70 percent contained. The acreage burned is the second-highest amount recorded in California’s history.
CZU Lightning Complex
Major progress was also reported overnight by firefighters battling the CZU Lightning Complex in the steep terrain of the timber-rich Santa Cruz Mountains.
By Tuesday morning, the 85,218-acre fire was 43 percent contained. It has destroyed at 921 homes — the majority being in Santa Cruz County. There has been one civilian death and California National Guard troops were fully engaged in fire suppression and mop-up operations.
Approximately 35,000 people remain evacuated, though in the last week Cal Fire lifted evacuation orders for many communities in the two
counties. Returning residents should be cautious of hazards like road instability, damaged trees and damaged utilities.
“The California National Guard troops are on the fire line, working side by side with fire crews, mopping up hot spots and patrolling the fire’s perimeter,” Cal Fire officials said. “Very warm and dry conditions continue inland through the end of the week, with local
temperatures well above normal.”
Thousands of evacuees have also been allowed to return to their homes, but Cal Fire warned that hidden dangers continued to lurk in the re-populated areas.
— CAL FIRE CZU (@CALFIRECZU) September 1, 2020
“Many known and unknown hazards exist following an intense fire,” officials said. “This includes fire weakened or dead trees that can fall without warning, burned out stumps creating holes under trails and damage to parking areas and roads.”
PG&E crews were also busy in the fire area, replacing at least 900 damaged power poles.
A Resource Assistance Center is open at the Kaiser Permanente Arena at 140 Front St. in Santa Cruz. A center in San Mateo County will open on Wednesday at Pescadero Elementary School at 620 North St., Pescadero.