tv NBC Bay Area News at 5 NBC September 14, 2015 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT
and it is chilly. now, that is good news for the firefighters, that the rain clouds are coming in. however, the wind direction continues to be tricky in fighting this fire. as for what we're seeing on the ground level, and this is where it's difficult for so many people. keep in mind, more than 10,000 evacuees, most of them don't even know if their homes are still standing up and in fact. they're relying on our media coverage because so far, midd middletown is closed to the general public as for those people, the evacuees, many are gathered at the napa county fair ground in cag astoega. they have reached out and are providing a great response in terms of the red cross and volunteers. i was down there earlier today. and they have taken care of these evacuees in fine fashion. officials have said they're overwhelmed with the support and the donations that they're getting. back out here live now in middletown, we're about a 30 minute drive up the hill from
calistoga. let me show you, again, we're going to cross the street and talk to you about the houses. if you were with us last night at 11:00, this house here, as you see now, these homes are destroyed. we were broadcasting last night from this driveway, and we happened to pick up a vase, one of the few things we found still intact. jim met me today. he owns this house. his daughter-in-law lives in the house. he saw that vase and came here this afternoon to pick up the vase and anything he could find. >> only one memorabilia that we have here, and they wanted me to take this now, this vase right here. and this is all -- all they got left. so we're going to give this back to them. and you know, every else, obviously, as you can see, isn't very intact. >> our thoughts and best wishes go out to jim and his family. he has two family members who live on this street.
both of those homes, of those family members of his, have been destroyed. we have a team of reporters here and weather casters here as well. we have been on sight for almost 48 hours now. michelle roberts is with us, jeff ranieri, and a host of other reporters, and we're joined by jodi hernandez. it's been devastating in so many ways, and so far, one fatality. >> that's right. unfortunately, there has been a fatality, a 72-year-old woman. we are told that 72-year-old barbara mcwilliams relocated here to middletown within the last year. we're told she loved this community. she loved nature. but like so many others, she lost her house over the weekend. but unlike others, she was not able to escape with her life. >> i'm so, so sorry she didn't make it. and i just wish you could know how hard i tried. >> jennifer is beside herself.
the woman she helped care for, 72-year-old barbara mcwilliams died over the weekend in the fast-moving valley fire. she was with mcwilliams at her house on saturday afternoon when the fire started. but they had no idea she was in danger. >> i was just up there and left and she was fine. and happy, and then she is gone. and it's absolutely devastating. >> hickson said she didn't realize how ferocious the fire was until she got home about 30 miles away. she tried desperately to make it back to middletown, but roads were closed. and she couldn't convince any emergency workers to check on the woman who suffered from multip multiple sclerosis and didn't have a car. >> it's horrible because you can't help but imagine what she must have been going through. and what she must -- how scared she must have been, and no one was coming, and she was probably waiting for someone to come get
her and no one ever got her. >> now, the mcwilliams family issued a statement late this afternoon. they say they are devastating by the loss of a mother, a grandmother, and a friend. now, the family is requesting privacy during this difficult time, raj. they're also requesting that donations be made in her honor to the american red cross. >> we covered these fires, especially in the four-year drought, extensively. i can't think of a fire we have covered that we have seen so many homes destroyed and so many lives effected. >> it's incredible. we drove over here over an area i don't think we have gotten to before then. the devastation was unreal. literally, house after house after house. and the flames were still burning. power lines were down. a very dangerous situation. can't imagine what it was like here over the weekend. >> thanks for being with us. see you later on. >> not just jodi hernandez. we also have michelle roberts with us. she's down the hill about 30 minutes from here in calistoga,
which is really a tent city for lack of a better term. the evacuations are at the county fairgrounds below. what do you have there? >> it's been such a long and exhausting couple days for the people here. there's about 1,000 at this camp. the red cross is here, passing out food and blankets. many people are staying in tebts. some people are camped out on the ground. some have already received the bad news that their homes have burned. others are still anxiously waiting to hear anything about their homes and hoping for the best. >> hi. >> theresa is trying to maintain some sense of normalcy for her 1-year-old daughter taylor and the baby she's expecting in the spring. >> the whole life we built together, everything for our daughter. >> they left their house in middletown on saturday, not knowing if they would have a home to return to. >> she had her first steps, her first crawl, her first word in the home, and everything is gone. >> tonight, this is what's left
of the moniz house. the ground is still smoldering from the flames that ripped through over the weekend. >> oh, yeah. taking everything day by day. >> teresa said she's gaining strength from friends and neighbors of the evacuation center in calistoga. >> got 20 sets of hands, anything is possible. >> volunteers spent the day working on dinner. >> making chili. >> passing out clothes and tents. and some even offered free massages at a pop-up wellness center. >> a kind word and a hug and a loving touch goes a long way. >> while many anxiously wait for more information and a hot shower. theresa says she's focused on being positive for her daughter. >> we'll get through this together. we'll all rebuild together. >> i spoke to a high school senior at middletown high school. he said he's in charge of planning homecoming that's supposed to happen on saturday. today, he spent the day volunteering and passing out water to everybody around here. reporting live in calistoga,
michelle roberts. >> okay, michelle, thank you. i have been reminded being here for the last 24 hours how helpful the people of calistoga are. the mayor of calistoga, i met with him last night, and he said his doors are open to his town for as long as it takes to help the people here, among the 10,000 evacuees, get back on their feet. if you want to help, we have a lot of requests from people who want to help the cause. the evacuees in calistoga and the red cross. you can, it's fairly easy. go to our website, we created a link where you click on how to help if you want to send cash donations or tents or any other items for the evacuees. that's it for now. we'll see you later on in the newscast. we'll send it back to you. >> thank you very much. the journey for those people is just beginning. going to be a long road ahead. >> not just middletown. the valley fire has left several other communities ravaged. you can see how widespread the area is. but it's not just flames people
are trying to dodge, either. take a look at one of our crews captured as they were driving around pope valley, downed power lines everywhere. a very dangerous situation. no doubt. flames are sparing no one. cars, trees, roads, everything in its path is turning into ashes. this is what cobb looks like tonight. looks like a war zone. >> governor brown made it clear that his priority right now is doing everything he can to help firefighters gain the upper hand on the wildfires. the governor also emphasized the importance of tackling what he called the long-term challenge here. >> the temperatures are rising. the annual mean temperature is going up. and that then when combined with years of drought means that the conditions are worse. they're drier, and therefore, these fires are acting more aggressively, more unpredict aeblt. we have to do something about it. >> governor brown wants california leaders to take the initiative to do something about climate change.
he warns fire season will only get worse in our state. and you can watch more of the governor on our website, click on the top story box. it will take you to his comments on the fire and climate change. again, that's an nbcbayarea.com. >> as you can imagine, the valley fire has led to poor air quality. this is the view from our nbc helicopter today. since the fire broke out on saturday, smoke has drifted into the bay area. jeff is tracking where the smoke is going, plus a change in the weather that could and should help firefighters. >> that smoke, at least throughout today, has been blowing away from the bay area. winds coming out of the south, pushing the smoke to the north, in through the sacramento valley, but tomorrow, a key shift in that wind likely will bring areas the smoke back to the bay area. possibly pushing through napa, also contra costa and alameda county. for the firefighters, the good news on tuesday's forecast, temperatures down to 77 degrees, but winds will be gusting as high as 30. humidity at 39%. the other thing we're tracking are the showers moving in and
across the bay area. details on a second chance of some rainfall near the valley fire and for the bay area, and we'll let you know how much we'll get in about 15 minutes. >> see you then. it's a big shuffle, getting enough boots on the ground at the massive wildfires means moving firefighters around the state, while keeping fire stations staffed. robert honda joins us from cal fire headquarters in morgan hill. you talked to bay area firefighters heading up into the fray. they could be gone for days or they could be gone for a week if not more. >> that's right, jessica. the schedules are open ended because it's an ongoing fluid situation, mobilizes thousands of firefighters and trying to spread them out effectively. for the firefighters, a sense of duty, excitement, and apprehension. they're getting equipment she'll need at the valley fire. a 12-year veteran, she's one of three firefighters from the santa clara unit defloied today. she's a forestry specialist.
she's been monitoring the valley fire, the destroyed homes, charred properties and knows evaluations will be emotionally draining. >> a ritual more pulling at the heart strings to see the devastation happening to all these families. >> this man, a third-year firefighter says there's a lot to think about. >> safety is one of the bigger issues. supplies. if we have enough equipment. >> in addition to my fire shelter -- >> brian is not only a first-year firefighter. today was only his second shift. he's making sure he's prepared. >> since i am so new, a lot of my day has been training, laying out hose, it's been looking at the tools and making sure you're ready to go. >> you're excited? >> very excited, yeah. >> the three firefighters left a few hours ago and they have just arrived at the valley fire. coming up at 6:00, more on how cal fire is trying to keep up. >> well, among the painful
homecomings was an unexpected bright spot. a news crew was with dwayne harper as he returned to find his home burned to the ground, but he abruptly interrupting the interview when he heard a familiar sound. annie. oh, there's my cat. annie. >> yes, annie survived. see more of his story and his neighbor's story next on nbc nightly news with lester holt. still ahead, in and out in less than a minute. the hot items thieves were after in santa clara and vancouver. and good afternoon. i'm jeff ranieri. showers right now on the doppler radar. tracking rain chances not only tonight but throughout the week in the microclimate forecast. >> and a first for levi's stadium which is hosting monday night football for the first time. a live look at the stadium in santa clara just ahead, the warnings issued to people who work near the stadium. ==janelle/take vo== not just
homes, but businesses too. the valley fire has left so many not just homes but businesses too. the valley fire has left so many with so little. it all happened so fast. this is video of the fire raging saturday night into sunday morning. >> raj joining us from middletown. it's hard when you live in the area and you walk around and see you don't recognize even your own neighborhood. >> yeah, its rrt difficult and
it's strange. you know what, yesterday when we were here, it was like a dwogho town, not much activity. but the last 12 hours, a lot happening here. none of the evacuees, the residents, unfortunately for them, a lot of pg&e crews, firefighting crews and we in the media. it has been hard to see all this here, and so far, the count has been 400 homes and businesses, but really, it's probably going to balloon up to 800 or 1,000. these are photos now from posterity productions of a very popular resort here. this is the harben hot springs. this has been around for more than 100 years. this is a holistic health resort, really popular, not just for locals but also for tourists around the country. harben hot springs among the many businesses and resorts here that have been destroyed in this fire. we spoke with someone who worked at harben just yesterday. >> we will come back. we will reconvene with the faith
that all 170 of us can come back together and find a way to rebuild again. >> yeah, many people don't consider themselves employees there. they just consider themselves volunteers. working on the property, but now there's no property to work on. many of the harben evacuees are down the hill in calistoga at the county fair grounds. that's a similar story for so many people here. and again, you see a lot of the smoke. in fact, just a little while ago, we saw this property here. there were flames here, small flames, smoldering flames here and that's what we're seeing throughout this neighborhood. back to you. >> a lot of hot spots going to continue for many days ahead. >> we're constantly updating our app so you can keep up with the fire there, and our digital platform on facebook and twitter. >> switching gears now to other news today. a judge declared a mistrial today for one of the teens accused of killing a santa clara county paramedic two years ago. clint boyar was shot and killed
in an attempted car jacking. today, a dead lock on a murder charge for one of the teens but found a second teen guilty of murder. the 17-year-old faces a life sentence in prison. the teen in the mistrial could stand trial again. >> santa clara police are investigating a burglary that happened this morning. surveillance video from the store caught the thieves in action. two men took off with about $5,000 in drones and other products. the drones stores have been burglarized in the past three weeks, including one in studio city, where surveillance cameras caught seven men on tape stealing $15,000 worth of drones, and then on saturday, a store in vancouver was also targeted but the suspects weren't able to take anything in that case. >> jeff, these fires have been burning for so many weeks, this entire summer, but relief could be coming soon. >> that's right. the weather we started off with today definitely has aided
firefighters not only in california but a lot of the pacific northwest. we have this cooler weather pattern happens, a cold front to the north that has produced spotty showers across the bay area. i want to take you closer to the doppler. a few of you have hit showers in the san francisco peninsula and contra costa and alamedlameda. this is the nature of what we'll continue to find tonight, hit and miss showers. let's take you outside the sky cam. this has been the coolest thing, the cooler temperatures and also increased cloud cover. so much better than this time last week. we're forecasting 105 to 107 for the interior valleys. right now, 72 in the south bay. san francisco at 62, and check out how much moisture is rolling in. a lot of drizzle throughout downtown san francisco. that's going to stay in place for tonight. with the fog at the coastline, cooler temperatures aloft, this will bring us another cloudy start here as we head throughout tuesday morning. temperatures down to 53 in the north bay. east bay, 58, and for the south
bay, we'll start off with 59 degrees. now, for most of this week, the weather forecast will be dominated by this area of upper low pressure. that in fact tomorrow morning will keep the drizzle again at the coastline, and throughout the day, below average temperatures. the best part, after a few spotty showers tomorrow, we're looking at another chance of rainfall throughout wednesday evening. that's great news for the firefighters from the fire lines at the valley fire and of course for our fire danger back here throughout the bay area. best chance would be in the north bay. how much rainfall could we get? i want to show you the estimated rainfall totals. not an extreme amount. in the south bay near chosan jo trace amounts, but up towards napa, calistoga, from .500 to .2 inch wednesday night into thursday morning. the microclimate forecast as we head throughout tuesday, we'll have more sunshine than we had today. 75 expected in san jose, and all
of san francisco expecting 60s. for the north bay, east bay, and tri-valley, comfortable day in napa with 72 degrees. also 70s on the fire lines alt the valley fire. right here across the tri-valley, 73 expected in danville. the weekend forecast does get hotter, but the way it looks right now as we head throughout saturday and sunday, we'll stay out of the low 100s and max out with 94 degrees expected in the try valley on sunday and 92 expected in the north bay. you can track more on the forecast at nbcbayarea.com. >> thanks, jeff. >> our fire coverage continues after the break. the other major fire that's keeping crews busy at this hour.
my name is jamir dixon and i'm a locate and mark fieldman for pg&e. most people in the community recognize the blue trucks as pg&e. my truck is something new... it's an 811 truck. when you call 811, i come out to your house and i mark out our gas lines and our electric lines to make sure that you don't hit them when you're digging. 811 is a free service. i'm passionate about it because every time i go on the street i think about my own kids. they're the reason that i want to protect our community and our environment, and if me driving a that truck means that somebody gets to go home safer, then i'll drive it every day of the week. together, we're building a better california.
like a freight train of flames, this is what it looks like. the valley fire, one of two explosive wildfires burning in northern california right now. and then there's the butte fire, raging in the sierra foothills. between the two, some 23,000 californians have been displaced. we're joined with a closer look at where the fires are burn. >> let me take you to the butte fire burning in calaveras.
it started last wednesday. it's burned more than 70,000 acres. only 30% contained. 135 homes destroyed. but now let's take you to lake county. it has been hit hard this summer with several major wildfires. we had the rocky fire, the jerusalem fire, and of course, the valley fire which is burning right now. that started saturday afternoon, and just exploded in 24 hours. you can see a lot of resources on scene. nearly 1500 firefighters, 10 helicopters. 4 air tankers. it's burned 61,000 acres in 48 hours and it's only 5% contained. hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed, and several thousand still threatened. >> okay, thank you. let's switch gears for a moment. happening now, game on. want to give you a live look. do you see people there? they're tailgating at levi's stadium, just two hours away from kickoff. monday night football, and this is the debut. crews spend the day blocking up
streets, putting up barricades. companies warn their employees, better get out of santa clara fast because there is going to be a lot of traffic. >> they sent a note out saying there's going to be a game, reminding everybody. you don't have to leave everybody, but if you want to, then your schedule allows it, they say it's probably a good idea. >> wrap your heads around this. some fans arrived seven hours before kickoff. they waited outside the gates to get in and reserve their favorite spots. of course, they could tailgate. as if it seems like b.a.r.t. trains are more kracrowded, you right. they are. due to record crowds, b.a.r.t. is making the trains longer and running them more frequently. new trains are expected in 2017. until then, more mechanics are working harder to keep the older trains running. >> we'll be back in a moment with raj, live in middletown with an update.
fires we covered in the last few years, there has been limited damage to homes and lives. unfortunately, that's not the case with this valley fire. we're back here right now among the many homes destroyed. if you look over my shoulder, across highway 29, the main street, the main drag right through here, middletown, a lot of pg&e trucks. there are hundreds of pg&e workers, more than 1,000 firefighters here. on sight. there is good news also at this very minute, starting to drizzle here in middletown. that should help this firefight. a couple final numbers. 5% contained. 61,000 acres thus far. really, the firefighters have said despite all of their years of experience, it's been challenging because the shifting wind directions, what's happening here in middletown. we'll see you ahead on the 6:00 news. >> we'll see you then. sprinkles now, off and on, but more rain could be coming. >> wednesday evening into early thursday morning. that would be the good news for firefighters.
the way the forecast looks immediately, the winds will shift again, likely blowing smoke into the bay area, but temperatures will stay cool and winds will gust as high as 30. it's a mixed bag. tonight, from the hungarian border. global emergency. a special live report as hungary seizes control of the borders against the unrelenting mass of refugees. witnessing the mad rush to cross over before the gates shut. entire families who see no other choice. the faces of children who make up so much of the desperate journey. and the danger at home that so many are risking their lives to flee. also, state of emergency. apocalyptic scenes from the massive killer fire in california. the worst all year. at least 400 homes and businesses destroyed and many incinerated. the fast spreading fire making tens of thousands flee. as entire towns go up in flames. nightly news begins ri