tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC October 9, 2017 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
assigned to one incident to stay. may share those resources with other fires in sonoma and napa county. >> finally criteria for that, who decides who gets resource? describe the criteria that goes in to deciding which communities get it and which don't? >> regional operations center decides priority for the incidents, where the resources go and how they're prioritized and sent to the incidents? >> what do they look it? >> first and foremost life safety. is there homes, people in the way of the incident or just vegetation? those types of criteria they're looking at when they assign resources. >> firefighting efforts in challenging areas -- >> as it's been covered, really multiprong approach.
we have many areas of the fire still hot that don't have direct line on them. our number one priority is 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 put out so we have no further loss of structures from unneeded hot spots. takes a lot of resources to do that, which is why we have continuing requests for resources to aid it. >> i know the source of the fire is under investigation but how unusual for 14 fires to take off at the same time? something common among them? insight to the possible causes? is it unusual for 14 fires happening at the same time? >> not necessarily when you have those types of winds. this is california, we get a lot of wildland fires.
i don't think the public understands how many fires we get in fire season. we have a lot of our units up and down the state, responding to wildland fires throughout the day and night up and down the state. when you add a 50-mile-an-hour wind throughout many counties, those fires get very large before resources can contain them. range of possible causes, absolutely. >> how many of the fires are related? >> i have no information on that. all are currently under investigation with our investigators. >> saying this happened without warning, see wildfires but what happened last 17 hours. >> very significant. sometimes we get wind events and get away with it, other times we get caught. that's why i urge the public to
be cautious with everyday ordinary activities they do, cutting firewood, using power equipment, when it's windy, shouldn't be taken on at all, little sparks just go. there is a wide range of causes that start these fires when they're investigated. >> mentioned earlier that number of deaths may change. can somebody elaborate on that. how dynamic a situation is this right now? >> as my partners have said before, we're still trying to evacuate people. don't have people in all the areas to search. we're still evacuating. there is no searching or looking yet. there is a lot of burnt homes and areas. so it's just logical we're going to find more people. that's literally all i have for you. i don't know where the seven were. that's just the beginning.
>> how much more evacuations do you anticipate? >> depends on when the fire is getting contained. we're supporting fire, getting out of the way as the fire moves. it's not under control yet. >> just wanted to clarify, 24 evacuation sites are open. hundreds of people at those sites. there were a lot of seniors bussed in from where they lived in residential assisted living. trying to connect them up with their loved ones. we literally requested 500 more cots at finley center when i was there from the state. again, state's being great partners but we have a tremendous amount of people in need right now. we want 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 our primary concern right now. >> this will end the press briefing. >> request please. >> interviews afterwards but command staff and mayor, this fire activity is still ongoing. evacuations taking place, we need to get the men and women back to work. thank you. >> you're watching wrapping up a live news conference at sonoma county fairgrounds. variety of public officials, sheriff's office, police department, and many others, cal fire, fire department. all updating the media on what has transpired today and what
they anticipate will happen in the next few hours. sheriff's representative said primary job this moment is still trying to rescue people. >> but do confirm seven people died in sonoma but cautioned the number will change. we don't expect that to stay at that number very long, end of quote. that's the sad thing. trying to activiely rescue people. curfew in place from 6:45 tonight. little more than an hour. sunset to sunrise next morning in the mandatory evacuated zones. curfew and also trying to prevent looting which they say starting to see. >> saw a little bit of that and still forbidding people from going back into the burned out areas. don't want looters in, not going to let residents in either.
anyplace they're in control of not letting people in because it's too dangerous. >> we have reporters out at all the neighborhoods that have been deeply affected. don noyes is live at sonoma county fairgrounds in santa rosa having just covered the news conference. >> reporter: there's so much to talk about here. went on for quite a while. pressed them about what possible causes would be, 14 separate fires across seven counties, is there some connection between the fires. cal fire told me, you know, this is how it works sometimes, extreme winds, 50-mile-an-hour winds, sometimes the way it works. fires kick off in several different areas and may we unconnected. not sure about the causes. could be a large number of different causes. car pulling to side of the road, lightning straight.
we don't know. seven confirmed fatalities in sonoma county. i did confirm one is 67-year-old -- get her name right. veronica mccoombs. 67 years old, died on mark west springs road. spoke with her sister paula, happened so fast, couldn't get her out in time. husband and son lived there with her but veronica, blind from diabetes and hard of hearing tried to get out apparently on her own, i was there and saw her burned out sedan. authorities told the family she was found next to her car in the driveway. there you go. so, so sad. family is heartbroken, couldn't talk to me much beyond giving me those details. and yes, curfew for the mandatory evacuation areas in santa rosa, starting 6:45,
basically sunset, going until sunrise in the morning. want people to stay away. have been a few reports of looting and that sort of thing. trying to get people to stay away from the areas where people have belongings. one interesting thing from congressman mike thompson, flew over the scene in sonoma county sheriff's helicopter taking photographs to impress upon fema and the white house how serious this situation is. took the photographs to make sure the white house, president trump and fema know how serious this is. they want aid to be coming right away. as we know, governor did put out that order declaring a state of emergency, that's now resting with fema. mike thompson trying to push the white house and fema to get that process rolling. reporting live in sonoma county, dan noyes. back to you. >> thanks dan. we appreciate it.
>> quick programming note. "world news tonight" tairing on 7.2 and comcast 715. >> we want to stay on the air for the duration of the evening because it's terrible crisis for so many people. hundreds and hundreds of homes destroyed. at least ten deaths we know of, still very much a crisis. we're going to stay on with you and keep you updated because it's important event for your community. as cal fire mentioned, dozens of fires burning across california right now. >> right now, 64 active fires. you can see majority in northern california. >> congressman mike thompson out of st. helena sent out this tweet. california requested federal disaster declaration for lake, napa, sonoma counties.
in communication with white house aund urging quickness for the request. >> and announced for other can'ts. >> governor writes to assist local governments and protection of public health and environment, state agencies shall quickly assist with the response and recovery from the impact of the fires. >> mobilizes, first responders, aid and emergency services. >> two hospitals evacuated patients this morning, santa rosa memorial hospital is caring for many. katie utehs joins us live. >> reporter: staff has been working throughout the night and into today. many running on little sleep. also not knowing if their own homes have been affected, lost.
or just evacuated. personnel working around the clock here. level two trauma center. people evacuated from sutter and kaiser facilities in north bay were sent here where it's considered safe. 60 fire-related patients here, there are 45 people with minor injuries, 13 with moderate injuries, two critical burn patients, there are other burn patients sent to st. francis memorial in san francisco and uc davis medical center in sacramento. santa rosa memorial is well staffed but not used to this many fire-related injuries. >> influx of people with particular need. >> reporter: are you expecting more people? >> we're monitoring the
situation. in touch with ems experts in the county and fellow health care facilities to find out how we can collectively as team meet the need. evaluating right now should we restrict surgeries to emergent cases tomorrow. >> reporter: hospital is asking medical professionals to call in to the labor pool number. they've had people volunteer too help and in coming days may be necessary. people displaced by fire please go to shelter. only come to hospital if you're in need of medical assistance. they have to focus efforts on those patients injured and suffering from respiratory illnesses and of course two patients here with critical fire injuries. live in santa rosa, abc7 >> continue going around to your
reporters, spent all day and last night moving into the fire zones. elissa harrington. >> reporter: has been heartbreaking day for people in napa county. this is somebody's house. now it's just a big pile of rubble. seeing little fires here and there. just one example of what we've seen all over this napa neighborhood of mt. george avenue. one of the neighborhoods devastated by the fire. talked to neighbors who told me it all happened so fast last night. picture this, dark, late, suddenly fire started roaring through the area, power went out and people had moments to grab their things, decide if they were going to stay or get out. >> i had a very nice art collection. i suppose i'm going to miss that. >> reporter: walked through napa neighborhood, much of it destroyed by a fast-moving
wildfire that raced through the area overnight. burned down several homes including theirs. they lived here more than 30 years. >> just going to miss the property. lived here so long. it was precious to me. >> staying with some friends. we start over i guess. >> reporter: firefighters from agencies all over the bay area came to assist. captain sam said his crews mostly protecting structures and responding to hot spots. >> winds blowing 30, 40 miles an hour, and it was just home catching fire, leapfrogging. we were trying to stay ahead of it, do the best we could. >> reporter: down the road, dumping buckets of water on smoldering debris. >>ing to s flames
from spreading, igniting, anything we could do. >> reporter: terrified to see a wall of flames moving down the ridge. >> daughter and i in balcony, starting praying. >> reporter: gathered things and left. dave and hid family stayed up all night fighting fire themselves. >> kept trees from burning, propane tank from blowing up. >> scary at times when wind picked up. >> reporter: had to pump water from pool. house in family for generations is okay. >> my grandparents' house. grw up with all the neighbors. it's just hard. >> for us i'm feeling good, for my neighbors? >> that's elissa harrington reporting. >> lyanne melendez has also been out in santa rosa all afternoon. lyanne continues to bring us
latest. another neighborhood devastated. >> seen unbelievable scenes. where are you now? >> reporter: fountain grove parkway. one of the beautiful neighborhoods here in santa rosa. look at this house, really touches your heart. beautiful house. here's i guess the entry way, be careful with the glass. this is entrance to the house. there are things in here that i don't even recognize. i couldn't tell you what they were. you can see right there, you have all over this neighborhood gas lines burning like that one. all over. in this direction can see more houses. i don't know if behind me you have one or two houses but here you can see the washer, drier, i
guess that's a television. the furniture. i guess the air conditioning system right over there. again those fires burning. let me tell you something, this is not the santa rosa that i remember, that i know, this is so touching, it's so hard for everybody here to see this. this is like a -- i know we've said this before, it's like war zone. like anywhere else in the world except for here, santa rosa. look behind you over here. just show you this. i guess that's a golf cart or was. everything burned, completely destroyed. for me the hardest was mark west springs road, house after house, parts of that road destroyed. also crystal drive and heights road, went all the way up there. people asking us below, can you check on our home please. is it still there.
and it was so sad to tell them that many times in many cases it wasn't there any longer. did meet two people whose home was saved, but they were traumatized by what they saw last night. >> next thing you know, fire is a block away. had tote, no warning or anything of that sort. >> reporter: you didn't know if your house was burnt or not. >> absolutely. no. >> reporter: when did you come back? >> this morning, a couple of hours ago. >> reporter: surprised to find house intact? >> very surprised. thank goodness. >> no, 99% chance that it's gone. but hoping that 1% it's still there. we'll stick with it, see what -- stuff can be replaced. not be happy about it but i don't know whatd possibly do you know. get your helicopter and go over
that way, let us know. >> reporter: thank you so much. >> you're welcome. >> reporter: just put this on again briefly because this is a garage, was a garage. can see, i don't know what is burning in there, just smells really bad. not sure if it's toxic. i'm sure there was probably a car in there or anything else. but again, we don't know because it's burned for such a long time that -- i can't recognize things sometimes around here. this i found, a mailbox obviously. wow. that really tells you the story of what has happened here. again, i can't even imagine these people coming back here to their homes and having to see this. devastation.
we just saw police officers a while back. i think from san francisco pd, making the rounds. i'm sure they're looking for people who might have come back or even perhaps looters but like i said before, it's hard to imagine anybody -- looters coming through this. there is nothing left. and as we walk through these neighborhoods, power lines down, it is i assure you, not safe for anyone watching this right now to go back to your homes. stay where you are. they'll take care of you. i'm live from santa rosa, lyanne melendez, abc7 news. >> yeah. just not safe. nothing for so many people to return to. damage you're seeing just gives you sense of the overwhelming power of the heat power of the heat that swept through that neighborhood, melted and obliterated everything. >> so much devastation
everywhere you turn. every corner. worth pointing out what you're seeing behind us is actually a picture of the bay if you can believe that. sunset and smoky haze creating that ominous effect. almost can't see the bay. >> beautiful but ominous. at least the good news, after perfect conditions last night for this fire to do exactly what it did, low humidity, super high winds, 50 to 60-mile-an-hour gusts or more, things have changed on the fire lines. encouraging. >> spencer christian talking about -- >> drew i think. >> drew talking about why conditions are improving. >> smoke was one of the first things a lot of people smelled in north bay and across the pay area. active winds, 40 to 50 hour, such a hazy sky in north bay. visibility in santa rosa down
1 1/4 mile. likely stay that way overnight period. good news, winds have calmed down. all the reporters fanned out in the north bay, not seeing hair jostling in the wind or active breeze. fantastic news for firefighters. winds calmed down to less than ten miles per hour generally. even in the hills, live on air earlier track the fires, winds gusting over 40 miles per hour and right now generally ten miles per hour. next 24 hours. lovely graphic for the firefighters. winds remain light in north bay through tomorrow afternoon. even by 4:00 on your tuesday, still less than ten miles per hour. humidity right now in the teens for much of the north bay. even better news, will be rising. future tracker showing you into
the early morning hours on tuesday, great news, humidity is almost doubling if not tripling from what it is right now. combination of the winds relaxing and humidity increasing rapidly in the next couple of hours is fantastic combination for firefighters, much better handle on the flames. something to track in the coming hours. looks like good news on the weather front. as long as the winds are staying calm and humidity is running high. good news for firefighters on the fire lines. >> thanks. exactly what everyone involved in this needs. enough of a break to get a bit of a handle on fires so far completely uncontained. at least 70,000 acres. >> 0% containment, 20,000 people evacuated. 1,500 structures destroyed and
at least ten people killed. >> what are we seeing there elissa harrington? >> we're in napa, smoke started growing and taking off. we've been showing aftermath but seeing now this fire is nowhere near being over. still a lot of road closures in place and people want to check on homes but still dangerous out here. mt. george avenue in napa, smoke on the hills behind us at one point looked like tornado. smoke spinning and dark. taking up entire sky right now. still a lot of fire action out there. stay safe. people are worried about homes
but road closures there for a reason. this scene we're seeing over and over again. this fire jumping around because of the winds, especially winds from last night. lot of people coming back to find homes not standing. but again when fire jumps around like that, we see homes like this, others that were not touched at all. eerie sight. one neighbor told me it seemed apocalyptic. it is with how quiet it is and how devastated this neighborhood is. live in napa, elissa har abc7 news. >> so strange and cruel and indiscriminate. smoke as been the problem throughout the bay area. >> doctors say if you can smell it, you're breathing in particles. what about protective masks? >> great idea but they are tough to find, right michael finney?
>> bay area knows about health. store shelves emptied quickly as folks snapped up masks at drug stores and hardware stores. spoke with physician about what mask is best. sweeping wildfires burned hundreds of homes and washed the bay area in smoke and haze. >> if you can smell the smoke, probably also breathing in the particles. >> uc san francisco doctor says fine particles from the fire can reach wherever the wind blows. worse impact is anyone near the blaze, also can cause resiratory problems far downwind. >> sicyclists, joggers, kids on sports teams, would advise not to do heavy athletic exercise on a day like today. >> masks with the best
protection have this marking, n95, filter out 95% of all fine particles. used by doctors in surgery. also two bands that hold them snugly to the face. dr. bomm shows us how to put them on. those with beard like his are not well protected. >> i can't get it to seal. still air getting around the edge of the mask because of my beard. >> folks are snapping up protective masks. found shelves empty at this walgreens. other drug stores reported they old out too. >> whenever you burn material, you generate particles that can be toxic. >> dr. bomm says smoke near the fire is likely the most toxic because it may contain particles from burned synthetics. >> going to have even more nasty
chemicals when plastics burn for example, they give off very toxic emissions. >> he says most toxic emissions tend to stay in the local area where the fire is, not likely to be carried by the wind far. if you feel like coughing or eyes burning, no matter where you are, use mask or limit outdoor time. i want to hear from you if you have issues from the fire and need answers. 7 on your side hotline is up, waiting to serve you in the crisis. of course you can reach me on facebook and through abc7news.com. >> masks are new to us here but for folks who travel regularly to china, beijing, quite used to wearing them. >> for air quality. >> same here now. >> get you up to date on the latest numbers of the devastating north bay fires. just tuning in for 6:00 news, we're in continuing coverage
because of the tragedy in wine country and beyond. 1,500 structures burned at least the tubbs fire at 25,000 acres and the atlas fire also at 25,000cres. >> right now there is zero percent containment on those fires so the news is not good. seven people have died in sonoma county, two deaths in napa kh w county, also a death in men seen know, mendocino county. >> we do know six burn victims are being treated at st. francis memorial hospital in san francisco, two of them in critical condition. there are also others who have gotten hurt while they were trying to escape. people who had gotten into car crashes and people with