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North Bay wildfires destroy theater, hotels, and wineries

One of the worst fires in California history

Rudy Habibe, from Puerto Rico, stands by the burning Hilton Sonoma Wine Country hotel, where he was a guest.
Rudy Habibe, from Puerto Rico, stands by the burning Hilton Sonoma Wine Country hotel, where he was a guest.
Photo by AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The North Bay wildfires have claimed at least 1,500 structures and forced 20,000 people to evacuate. The firestorm, consisting of at least 15 fires, is being billed as one of the worst in California history, with California Gov. Jerry Brown declaring a state of emergency.

The fire is believed to have started on Sunday night near Highway 128 in Napa County.

Among the properties ruined in the blaze was the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. The venue released this statement Monday morning:

While there has been fire damage at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, we do not know the full extent at this time.

The Center is closed today and all of our staff are safe. We will continue to share updates as more information becomes available.

According to KQED, the venue is "gone," but the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that the main auditorium is intact and only the entrance has been destroyed.

As several wineries in the Sonoma and Napa area have been ravaged by fire, vintners are “preparing for the worst.” Many popular wine manufacturing facilities have fallen victim to the wildfires.

SFGate reports:

Atlas Peak and its surrounds in southeastern Napa Valley were particularly hard-hit. Signorello Estate, on Silverado Trail, was completely destroyed; buildings at nearby Stag’s Leap Winery burned, too. California Highway Patrol airlifted about 30 workers off of Atlas Peak late Sunday night, where roads had become impassable, according to David Shew, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Meanwhile, fires burning around Sonoma Valley appeared to have consumed Nicholson Ranch, a winery just off Sonoma’s Highway 12. Jake Terrell, vineyard manager for St. Francis Winery, said their Behler Vineyard had fires burning on all three sides, but was itself safe. At Sonoma Valley’s Scribe Winery, Cal Fire was successfully holding off nearby flames, said owner Andrew Mariani.

The Hilton Sonoma Wine Country burned to the ground, as did the Fountaingrove Inn, a Kmart, a McDonald’s, homes, and several fast-food restaurants.

Sonoma County farmers are also trying to flee and save their livestock.

Approximately 57,000 acres (89 square miles) have burned so far, with little to no containment. At least ten people have died.

We will continue to update as the story unfolds.

I hope everyone back home is staying safe #tubbsfire #atlasfire

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