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tv   Right This Minute  ABC  October 13, 2017 1:42am-2:12am PDT

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lisa is live from one cul-de-sac where some residents are refusing to leave. >> reporter: we're here on wilking way where four homeowners are staying put. they have a water truck and they have set up a lot of ladders. they're protecting this one house with a shaped shingle roof, because they're sure if it goes, their entire neighborhood will go down. the smoke and flames are less than two miles away from these homes. that's why they're not leaving, even though they're in a mandatory evacuation zone. >> i was a firefighter. i knew i could make a stand. we're not going to cut and run. this is my sandbox. i've done this for 30 years. >> reporter: the retired battalion firefighter chief got a backhoe to create more defensible space, and another neighbor just happened to have a water truck handy to park in
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front of this house. >> that's the big house, because it's the only remaining shingle house here, and it's an old one, and it's dangerous. >> reporter: the homeowner evacuated. >> we're going to make a stand and try to save the neighborhood. >> reporter: meantime, those in evacuated areas watched from afar as retardant doused their homes hate today. a few have temporarily set up in maxwell village shopping center off sonoma highway with only the essentials. >> i was glad i left. there was ash coming down like snowflakes. >> reporter: and there's still a lot of concern for the missing. >> we all clutch our hearts because we know people that went back in that are now missing. you don't stay missing voluntarily. >> reporter: and new ash has begun to fall and it's gotten a little smokier, as well. meantime, the group of men
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watching over this house say they will not evacuate, unless the winds shift and really pick up tonight. >> we wish them good luck. lisa, thank you very much. the fires spread quickly overnight sunday into monday when all of this began. the chp released this video taken around 3:00 a.m. if the coffee park neighborhood. you can see homes on fire everywhere. it was a conflegration. this is what's left of that neighborhood after that fire. sky 7 flew overhead this afternoon. we're starting with a wide view and let's zoom in a little closer. this is just widespread destruction. nearly every home is gone, street after street, just left with charred remains of houses, cars, people's property, maybe a few chimneys standing. everything else just completely leveled. really stunning.
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when you see the flame pictures from sunday night, you can understand why they end up like this. the sheriff has released the names of ten people killed. >> we're learning more about two
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of the victims. trina grant shared this picture of her parents. they lived in the marks springs west area and perished in the flames. she tells us her parents met in hawaii when her father flew for pan am. her father, arthur, was 95 years old. he served in the navy during world war ii and trained as a fighter pilot. "abc7 news" has confirmed 69-year-old linda tunies died when flames engulfed her home in santa rosa. her daughters said she could hear smoke alarms blairing in the back ground while talking to her mother on the phone. christina hanson's family members have confirmed with abc 7 that she died in the fire. the tubs fire destroyed her home and hanson relied on a wheelchair to move around. so many people are gone because of this tragedy. tonight, about 400 people remain unaccounted for in sonoma county. in mendocino county, the fires
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have burned eed 34,000 acres. ukiah high school has been closed all night, but volunteers have been gathered there to unload cases of water. crews are chopping down unstable trees to prevent further wildfire flareups. firefighters battling two fires, eight people have died, 8,000 displaced, but the situation is changing day by day. that is really the key, the changes are so important in terms of the weather, as to what happens on the fire lines, and whether the firefighters get any help at all. let's check in with sandhya patel who is checking the wind conditions. >> this is the break right now for the firefighters, as you take a look at the windis. they're about 14 miles per hour at mt. tam. so lower than what we've seen in days past. at the lower elevations, pretty
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much calm to less than 10 miles an hour. that will help the firefighters along with higher humidity. values well above where they were today. hour by hour we go. tomorrow night, winds begin to increase around 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. as we head towards midnight is when we expect lower elevation winds between 30 to 35 miles an hour. 5:00 a.m. saturday, some of the strongest winds at the lower elevations gusting to about 36 miles an hour. at the higher elevations, those winds could be from 40 to 60 miles an hour. that's why the high five danger, red flag warning 5:00 p.m. to saturday 11:00 p.m. humidity running low and any fires that do start will spread rapidly. this will be challeging for those fire crews in the north bay. dan? >> sandhya, thank you very much. more from you in just a little bit. anyone who has been outdoors this week has seen and smelled the smoke from the wildfires, that haze lingering over the bay
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area. air quality officials say the smoky areas are up he winhealth unprecedented. katie? >> reporter: dan, it's just not safe to be out and about. that's why classes are canceled tomorrow here at cal state east bay and concord. if you do have to go out, you should have one of these. >> mostly a lot of headaches. >> reporter: tonya cavanaugh knows better to take chances with her health. she's a nurse and has a lung condition. >> if it gets much worse, are we going to have to move temporarily out of the area to get where it's not so smoky? >> reporter: the air quality prompted the closing of schools. >> this is the worst i've ever seen, and this is the worst air quality the bay area has ever had. >> reporter: the chief medical officer at stat med urgent care
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says the smoke is carrying invisible particles that can harm your lungs. >> if you can't breathe, call 911. >> reporter: to protect yourself, he recommends an n-95 mask. >> make sure it's tight on the nose. most have two straps to create a tight seal. >> reporter: still, the best bet is to stay indoors. >> i'll go ride my bike about 30 miles, but i haven't done that. >> reporter: bay area hospitals have been treating people with breathing problems. in concord, katie marzullo, "abc7 news." hundreds of flights at san francisco international airport were affected by the wildfires. the smoke is causing delays for about one in four flights at sfo. wait times are up to an hour and a half. a few flights were grounded for
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as long as five hours. smoke prevents two aircraft from landing at the same time on two parallel runways because of limited visibility. that happens a lot at sfo because of the fog, too. a number of school districts have been affected by the fires in napa and sonoma counties. santa rosa junior college is closed until tuesday. further closures will be announced by 4:00 p.m. on sunday. in napa, five school districts resumed classes next wednesday. napa valley college is back in class on tuesday. >> we have turned into a central resource for you for fire information. you'll find a list of evacuation orders, closed schools, donation centers, wineries that burned, and how you can help those whose lives are now upside down.
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all of that for you on our website, please take a few minutes to avail yourself of those resources when you can. stay with us. a lot more to come here on our coverage of the north bay fires on "abc7 news" at 11:00. >> the kids really need it. >> a pair of schools completely flattened by the flames in santa rosa need your help tonight. plus -- >> i ran outside and my parents said yeah, we've got to go. >> one family's story of survival as they drove through this inferno sunday night. and dan noyes has an investigation into what sparked these fires. hear from pg&e workers who believe they know what happened. and let me remind you that "abc7 news" is going to stay on the air until midnight tonight because of our extended coverage for the north bay fires. "jimmy kimmel live" will air right after this
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our coverage of the north bay wildfires continues. tonight, a man is describing escaping a deadly inferno in the darkness as flames destroyed his family's neighborhood in santa rosa. >> i was in bed and heard there
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was fire in the yard and we might have to leave. i ran outside and my parts said we've got to go. >> while he drove away, travis hand shot this video. >> this was another five minutes of that driving down that hill. >> reporter: every frame, capturing a tidal wave of flames insent rating homes. >> 30 seconds later, i ended up crashing my car into a bolder. my mom couldn't see anything, and kept driving into driveways and getting lost and turned around. so she bailed her suv and got in my dad's truck. he couldn't see. he had to ditch and lost a fire and took the same drive i took but on a rim. >> reporter: his mother's bmw appears to be in tact, exactly where she left it. but it was a different story for his father's pickup. >> we left in three cars, drove off in three quarters of a car. and managed to get out of there.
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>> reporter: after they got to safety, they reflected on their escape. >> my dad asked how i i the power lines. i said what power lines? they hadn't fallen when i drove past them. if i find a small knickknack, i feel like i've won. >> can you imagine being in that car trying to get out? he learned his car was so badly damaged during his dash to safety, it will probably have to be totaled. you can understand why. ash and senders and everything flying at him in all directions. there is an outpouring of support for the victims. some donation drives even have more than they need. d >> reporter: dan, the santa rosa community is showing their resilience tonight, not only at a prayer vigil here at st.
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rosa's catholic church, but around the city. >> to have so many people here is incredible. >> reporter: the show of support for this santa rosa community is so strong, it spills from the doors of st. rose catholic church. >> i've never seen the church this full. >> reporter: tonight's prayer vigil for the schools, destroyed in the fires. >> i was going to go to newman next year. i'm just hoping they'll rebuild. >> reporter: less than a mile down the road, a non-profit center for students with autism. >> the kids really need it. there's 120 students, ages 5 to 22. and it's their future. >> reporter: it too burned to the ground. so much damage pg&e crews lined the streets and access blocked off. tonight, a plea from one mother for help. >> we're scared, because we don't know where the children are going to go. >> reporter: across town, the high school campus was transformed into the largest
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yard sale the city has ever seen. except everything here is free. >> we've been organizing clothes, sorting through children's toys. so come up and pick up what you need. >> reporter: doug lost almost everything in the fires. >> the flaming embers were coming down. and you could feel the wind, and then the explosion. >> reporter: everything but the clothes on his back. >> and here we have a second chance. >> reporter: and his spirit. >> we are very fortunate people. i know people who are really down on america and we complain about america. but we're so lucky! >> reporter: now, that school for autistic students is the anova center for education. if you are interested in helping them out, they are have a go fund me page set up. you can find it at >> great to see so many people coming out to help. thank you. the idea of helping fire
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victims turned to an avalanche of generosity. you're looking at clothes, toys and food and other items collected, taking a child development class at city. many of them teach in local preschools. one young woman organized the donation drive. she believed all the things her classmates would give would fit in her car. now a mountain of items are being stored until they can be delivered. just an incredible outpouring of generosity. more is needed, of course. let's turn back to the weather forecast. all-important next few hours. meteorologist sandhya patel is tracking conditions in terms of wind and humidity on the fire lines. >> hopefully the firefighters make some major progress in the overnight hours because winds have dropped off and humidity is up. take a look at this smoky sunset at 6:36 tonight. look at how heavy, how thick that smoke was, right over the
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bay area. many of you felt it in your throat, your eyes, if you were coughing today, you know why those wildfires in the north bay are doing a number on this. but obviously making for a beautiful sunset there. air quality, horrible. and it's not going to change any time soon. so i do want to share with you viewers have been kind enough to send in pictures. this one was sent in from vallejo and it shows you how much ash was flowing. this was a common scene around the bay area. you'll be seeing more pictures like this in the days ahead, as we are expecting the smoke and the ash to continue here in the bay area impacting air quality. i want to show you what it looks like from our live perspective. this is a live look from our camera. it's breezy in the hills, but not terribly windy tonight, which should help the firefighters. the wind today coming out of the north, this is a visible satellite picture, pushing that
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smoke all the way southward. you can see it between the two arrows there. how bad was it? well over 500 miles. yeah, that smoke traveled quite a distance there. and we'll continue to see this happening as we head into tomorrow evening and early saturday. we do have sfo delays still on arriving flights of over three hours. tomorrow, if you're flying out or expecting somebody, expect more delays, all due to visibility and smoke. clear skies here in the bay area, a look at your temperatures. they're falling. 40s, 50s, only going to get cooler by morning. your visibility right now at travis air force base, four files, five miles in concord. haze and smoke continue to linger and the air buquality wi remain terrible. so unhealthy for just about anybody thursday, friday. you will not see a shigt lightlt
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improvement until sunday. smoke not hard to -- very hard to see out there, but it is out there. smoke-filled air the next few days. winds increase tomorrow afternoon and high fire danger into the weekend. here's the humidity forecast. tomorrow morning, pretty good humidity. 3:00, dropping down into the teens around fairfield, santa rosa. single digits saturday afternoon. dry air, gusty winds. hazy tomorrow morning, bundle up. upper thirties to low 50s. clear and cool out there. it's going to be smoky again. low 60s to the mid 70s for friday. i want to show you here the frost advisories. it's going to get pretty cold tomorrow morning. as we fast forward to next week, middle of next week into the latter part of the workweek, thursday 3:00 a.m., bringing in a chance of showers, really light.
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best chance in the north bay. this would help those firefighters as humidity comes up considerably. accuweather seven-day forecast. smoky and gusty tomorrow night, windy. smoky again saturday, windy in the morning. lighter winds sunday, warmer weather going into monday. seths to 90s. and then we'll bring in the clouds and the possibility of rain. download the accuweather app and keep track of live doppler 7. "abc7 news" is going to stay on the air until midnight, because of our extended coverage for the north bay fires. "jim yim kimmel live" will air right when i have an asthma attack... i feel like a fish with no water. learn how to prevent your child's next asthma attack. because even one attack is one too many.
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now from abc 7, live breaking news. >> 17 victims of the growing wildfires have now been found in sonoma county. that buputs the death number at 31. here's what we have. the nun's fire has grown by 3,000 acres. the adobe fire was downgraded by 400 acres. containment lines have expanded on the atlas, sulfur and other
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fires, but there's a lock way to go. parts of sonoma are on edge, waiting to see which way the fire turns. we have team komcov in sonoma, where residents and firefighters are working to protect the community. lisa? >> reporter: we're here on wilking way inside the mandatory evacuation zone, and there are some residents who refuse to leave. they have this water truck standing by, and they have also set up all of these ladders. they are watering down that roof. you can see that it's shaped shingle and flammable. the fear is if this house goes down, the entire neighborhood will. >> we're going to make a stand and save the neighborhood. >> reporter: those aren't just words, they are serious about the task at hand. the one leading the charge is a retired battalion chief. he's organized this entire effort and got a backhoe in to dig a trench to create even more
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densible space behindthe houses. because as it stands right now, the fire is less than two files away from here. >> once we got the water here, the inch and a half hose, we can take care of it. >> this is my house. i'm trying to protect it, to the extent i can. >> reporter: and police were manning the roadblock just down the street know these folks are back here and that they are staying at their own risk. meantime, just about a mile from here, managers at they're ready to move 78 patients, if necessar. their site was evacuated today night in santa rosa because of the fire's proximity. back here live now. there is a bit more ash and smoke in the air right now. and the group of neighbors who are watching over this house say they will not evacuate unless the winds suddenly shift in this
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direction and really rev up tonight. >> let's hope that doesn't happen, lisa. thank you very much. the main job now is to protect people and property and stop these fires. as that process continues, cal fire is investigating whether downed power lines sparked the fires. but remember, pg&e has been fined before for lack of paym t maintenance on trees near its lines. dan noyes talked with some line workers who believe high winds, power lines and overgrown trees were a deadly combination. >> reporter: just as the fires were igniting across napa and sonoma sunday night, power lines on myers drive in santa rosa were failing. >> and you see that. what's going through your mind? >> i was kind of panicked at first. >> reporter: christian took this video from the safety of his home, the wind pushing the power hines, some falling on to ryan's
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car. >> it was terrifying. i was trying to remain calm. >> reporter: i caught ryan on the roof of his house today, clearing dry leaves with his girlfriend. it was a close call. >> reporter: it's starting to be fall, so there's a lot of dry leaves. so that easily could have hit one of our houses and gone up. >> reporter: downed power lines and exploding transformers may have played a role in the fires. >> electrical investigation, 47 maverick. >> reporter: maverick court, where homes and lives were lost. >> basically hazardous conditions, possible transformer explosion. >> reporter: several pg&e line workers tell me they believe hurricane level winds pushed trees into power lines that failed and pg&e has to do a better job of keeping vegetation cut back. this is myers drive today where the sparks fell. >> i do understand some information was put in the
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press. >> reporter: they quoted pg&e workers who cite this as a possible cause. >> the facts will come out when the investigations are come out. >> reporter: they sent a statement saying -- >> when they say weakened trees, that's the very responsibility they have to identify a weakened tree and to remove it before it strikes a power line. >> reporter: frank petry has filed some of the 1,000 lawsuits pending against pg&e for the buthe fire in 2015. the public utilities commission fined pg&e $8.3 million for failing to come back a pine tree that contacted a power line and sparked that fire. he sees similarities in this


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