tv KTVU Mornings on 2 at 4am FOX October 13, 2017 4:00am-4:30am PDT
mornings on 2 starts now. good morning and thank you for joining us on mornings on 2. i'm pam cook. dave clark has the day off. we have an update on the north bay wildfires. 31 deaths have been confirmed. 300 square miles has burned. the area is now six times the size of san francisco. 3500 homes and businesses have been destroyed. most of those in the city of santa rosa. 25,000 people have been forced out of their homes and have evacuated. 400 people are still listed as missing. we want to show you a map of the fires as they are now. two fires along the sonoma and napa countyline have moved into one. the tubbs fire the burn from calistoga into santa rosa is 10% contained.
it has burned nearly 35,000 acres. the atlas fire expands napa and solano county. it has burned almost 44,000 acres and is 7% contained. on the eastern flank of the atlas fire and solano county, officials are talking about letting people return to their neighborhoods. the number of firefighters working the atlas fire has tripled. more personnel and the improving weather has people cautiously optimistic. >> this morning when we woke up and saw smoke again it was nerve-racking but they are on it. we are feeling better. >> this mother said she is ready to go at a moments notice. her car is packed with family photos, eight teddy bear and her kids are with her. some people who live in the area where the atlas fire started on sunday night are being allowed back into their home is. mandatory evacuations have been lifted for some areas near the silverado country club. we spoke to one person as he went back home. he said he is grateful his home
on burningtree court narrowly avoided the fire. >> i think you are more empathetic when you almost experienced it yourself. you know what it felt like to think you may have lost everything you owned. that's pretty devastating. >> authorities lifted mandatory evacuation orders for the area around monticello park and the avenues in napa. in sonoma county, people are banding together to help each other and have come up with the hashtag, sonoma proud. debora villalon went to sonoma where flames were a few miles away. >> reporter: the site so many people are gratified to see. poor visibility his often hinder the air attack but this was a day of progress on many fronts many fires.
captain matt ryan is among those tasked with keeping fire above sonoma from blowing down into the valley. >> they are not out of the woods but the firefighting effort continues and it will continue for the next week or so. >> reporter: hard work underway in hundreds of troubled spots in the region. carving out buffer lines like this one on middle mountain above sonoma to eliminate fuels that embers could ignite. downtown landmark plaza is all but empty. homes closest to the fire are under mandatory evacuation. residents who have stayed or taken precautions, packed to go but trying to be optimistic. >> now you have everybody fleeing and then what? it's a tough call. and we are very aware of all the damage that's happened. this has been running for three days. >> valerie lynn evans. 75 years old from santa rosa.
carmen berriz, 75 years old from apple valley california. she was vacationing with her family. >> reporter: as the crisis continues, the death toll climbs. most founded their homes and one victim was in a car. >> there have been ids in this case in a pile of ash and bones where there was a piece of metal left from a surgery with an id number on it and that helped us id the person. i am sorry to tell you that but that is what we are faced with in this fire as far as identifying people. >> a feel like mandatory and voluntary are almost the same thing at this time. >> reporter: sonoma is like many towns, in limbo. businesses are mindful of santa rosa's devastation to the west. >> if the wind picks up, it may hit the business. we've been here 32 years. >> reporter: throughout the valley of the moon, thank you messages for firefighters. this crew from the sierra national forest racing darkness
to get brush cleared. >> we appreciate you guys. we are here to help them. >> reporter: and a clever sign spotted on the statues and storefronts of the sonoma plaza reads, the love is thicker than the smoke and expression of the community spirit as people wait to see what the fires will do next. >> that is the big question? what will the fires do next? a lot of that has to do with the weather. let's check in with steve. i'm hearing it could be windier tonight. >> later tonight. but nothing like they saw. the strongest gusts yesterday were in the east bay. there will be one more system to come by. it's pretty calm right now and temperatures are on the cool side. 30s and 40s. firefighters do get a break. by tonight the wind will pick up
but highs will be in the 70s today. we start a warming trend over the weekend. the gusts will not be that bad until later on. the wind advisory starts at 11 pm. we are not expecting anything close to what we had sunday or monday. it was hot that day, close to 90. you are now dealing with 30s 350s. that is a big difference. no wind is good. that will be a factor but not until later on. you will get variable wind. some from the east, northeast, south and southeast. the humidity is relatively high. there is a system coming down from the pacific northwest that will ramp up wind speeds tonight. 44, napa airport. half moon bay, 43.
after this system goes by, high pressure will kick in and we will see warmer temperatures. 60s and 70s today but the wind will not pick up until later. right now we have traffic that is moving well through the caldecott tunnel. earlier this morning that was not the case. there was a track fire inside the caldecott tunnel. the tunnel heading east on the far right. the truck was carrying building materials. it caught fire. the driver is okay. the driver did get out in time that the truck was totally damaged. this happened at midnight. they opened up the lanes and got that out of there. now things are moving well. for a time it was touch and go inside the caldecott tunnel. let's take a look at the roads. you can see things are very well both directions in that area. highway 101 remains open and highway 37 does as well. many local closures but for the
most part the main highways are open. this is a look at westbound 80. traffic is moving well out to the macarthur maze. at the bay bridge toll plaza it is light. a new voluntary evacuation order has been issued an napa county. people who live in the areas west of highway 29 between the oakville grade and rutherford road are being asked to gather their belongings and standby in case the nuns fire comes closer. several vineyards are in that area east of highway 29. another half -- fire near highway 29 continues to grow. some of the top areas of concern is mount peter and dry creek. some people have left. some people who are still there have been told to be ready to evacuate. >> this is the largest fire we've seen who knows what it will do. our house is on the edge of it.
we are prepared to evacuate. >> a little on edge. we have basically everything packed up. it's lined up in the hallway and ready to go. >> we've had significant fire activity up on the mountain for the past couple of days. we have numerous houses and dry creek. we are attempting to get fire engines there to protect them. >> flareups continue to be a risk throughout the area. crews plan to continue airdrops throughout the day to steer the fires away from homes and businesses. sonoma county residents and business owners can start applying for disaster aid to cover some of the losses. fema announced that there are grants available for temporary housing, essential home repairs and property losses not covered by insurance. the federal assistance will likely be expanded into other counties and fema may offer more assistance in the near future. tax relief could also be on
the way to people whose properties were damaged. the county announced it is working to identify and adjust property values and tax bills on properties that have more than $10,000 worth of damage. taxpayers should contact their lender to inform them of the change in the status of their property. the california national guard share this video yesterday afternoon. you can see one of the countless water drops above a wildfire. as many as 1600 person off from the national guard are in the fire zones. the bay area's bay -- air quality is the worst ever recorded. the bay area air quality management district is recommending people stay inside, use your air- conditioning to recirculate the indoor air if you have it. schools are keeping students inside. many districts have closed completely. >> we are seeing air quality like we see in beijing right now. air quality in the bay area is
the worst we've ever recorded. >> air filtration that masks are becoming hard-to-find. they are selling out as soon as they are restocked. the main concern with smoke is tiny particles that can lodge in your lungs or get into your bloodstream. people turning to prayer for comfort from the fires. the mass that was held last night in santa rosa for a community that is hurting. pg&e responding to reports the downed power lines may be to blame for the fires. what 2 investigates has learned from hours of dispatch audio.
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welcome back. many people are wondering about the origin of the wildfires. cal fire is not speculating but 2 investigates has been sifting through hours of dispatch calls that may link the fires to power lines downed by high wind and blown transformers. candace nguyen has pg&e's response. >> power lines are down. request pg&e. >> reporter: attorney petrie said like pieces of a puzzle, calls, outages and maps put together a picture of how the north bay fires may have started >> i said, could this actually be happening all over again? it was a nightmare for me.
>> reporter: he is involved in legal cases stemming from the pg&e san bruno explosion and the deadly 2015 butte fire caused by it powerline hitting a tree. with the north bay fires, even though it causes not been determined, he said transparency and cooperation is paramount. >> you look at all the pieces and you see there were blown transformers. you see there are lines that are down very early in the evening. >> reporter: we listen to hours of dispatch audio between fire and law enforcement agencies after the first fires broke out sunday night. they reveal more than a dozen reports of downed power lines, blown transformers and flames. but is there a point if the conditions are so bad it doesn't matter how much you maintain the brush or how much you maintain the infrastructure something like this would still
happen? >> it's always possible that something like this could happen. the question is, is that what happened here? pg&e knows that they have an obligation to identify trees and vegetation that pose a hazard to their power lines. that's their job. >> reporter: earlier in the week, pg&e released a statement saying extreme weather conditions impacted its equipment. >> and it says millions of trees weakened by years of drought and recent renewed vegetation growth from winter storms all contributed to some trees, and debris's impacting our electric lines across the north bay. it admits their lines were involved in perhaps equipment was involved but tries to redirect people into believing that this was because of high wind that were unforeseen. i don't buy that. at this stage. >> reporter: thursday, we
brought these questions to pg&e. a spokesperson said there will likely be review of these wildfires by the appropriate agencies but right now we are focused on life, safety and service restoration. we aren't going to speculate about any of the cause of the fires. we will reviewed does support the reviews by any relevant regulator or agency. >> if it's true that pg&e said there were we can trees, why weren't those trees identified and removed as is their responsibility? 40 local firefighters also lost their own homes while battling the fires. battalion chief with the nevada our department is among them. he showed alex savidge what's left of his home in the larkfield neighborhood of santa rosa. he was out of town when the fire started and never had the chance to get his belongings. everything is gone including his wife's wedding ring. >> i was here for most of the day sifting through stuff looking for that. it's not the monetary value.
it's the emotional connection. these other things can be replaced. >> the captain with the alameda fire department lost his home in santa rosa. after getting his daughter to safety, he went back to evacuate his neighbors knowing his house had already been destroyed. the international association of firefighters has set up a fund to help the firefighters. many are still working on the fire lines and have not been able to see the damage or comfort the families. so far the gofundme hero account has raised $35,000. if you would like to make a donation, we have a leak on our website, ktvu.com. let's check in with sal for a look at traffic. i know overnight there was a problem at the caldecott tunnel. fortunately all lanes are open on the caldecott tunnel.
everything is moving well and no one was hurt. the caldecott tunnel lanes are open in both directions. no slowdowns. let's talk about the gilroy commute. gilroy to san jose looks good driving into the valley with no problems through morgan hill. that is a nice drive. no major problems so far. this is a look at 280 in san jose. traffic is moving along well. at the bay bridge toll plaza, traffic is moving along very nicely but the smoke is still present. as i bring stephen here, i want to ask you again, that's not fog , is it? >> that is smug. we had some fog two days ago but not yesterday. some areas were better yesterday. it depends on the wind direction. >> yesterday it seemed, where i live, worse. the day before it was better. today i got up and it wasn't as
bad. >> the opposite for me. it was worse two days ago but not too bad yesterday. yesterday i think it favorite marin county and then the city. things are quiet right now. they will pick up this evening. there are red flag warnings. they do not kick in until later. things -- some do not kick in until 11:00 tonight. 5 pm is when we expect conditions to pick up. that will go until saturday. it will be late tonight into saturday. today they get a break. i don't see much of a breeze. there are a few locations to the north that are showing 20 miles per hour. 70s and humidity is pretty high. the winds will pick up later. the wind advisory starts at 11 pm. this is late tonight into saturday. this will be a northerly breeze . it will not be like sunday
night and monday. that was a completely different animal. that was very hot conditions with wind at of the northeast. we are not expecting that. most locations are generally under 10 or 15 miles per hour. tonight it starts to pick up a little bit.25 or 35 miles per hour early on saturday. that's what we are looking at right there. there is rain in the pacific northwest but not here. 30s and 40s and 50s on the temperatures. northwest, east, southeast, north for the wind. generally it is an offshore direction. we are not saying much of a westerly wind. pretty quiet today. there is no fog. in lake county west, southwest. humidity is up there. some locations are not reporting for obvious reasons.
north wind at windsor and santa rosa. that will pick up later tonight. also tore the oakland hills, west and southwest wind. you can see some locations will have a north or northeast direction in oakland. out in the valley and eastern parts of the valley, it's not that bad. vacaville is calm. 30s, 40s and 50s on the temperatures. ukiah, 39. there is a north wind in willis. temperatures are cold so there is a freeze warning. the wind will pick up later on and that goes until 9:00. there is hours system in the pacific northwest giving rain to seattle and portland. the backside of that will pick up the breeze as the system digs in easton southeast of us. the wind forecast will pick up later this evening. mainly in higher elevations in the north and east bay hills.
it will decrease later on saturday and sunday looks warmers. 60s and 70s the temperatures in late wednesday and thursday we could get a front in here which could bring rain. >> that would be great. >> i'm sure the fire meteorologist have mentioned that. if they can hang in there for a few days, it does look favorable. president trump signs an executive order on healthcare. the decision the white house says begins the process of repealing and replacing the affordable care act.
welcome back to mornings on 2. school closures are expanded beyond the fire zones. several districts in the east bay are closed because of the poor air quality. they include pittsburg and antioch unified , vallejo city, venetia, and west contra costa unified and john swept. the martin is district will be closed today and all of marin county schools decided to cancel today as well. for a complete list you can go to our website, ktvu.com. authorities say looting has not been a significant problem in the evacuation zones. yesterday sonoma county deputies arrested a man. a neighbor reported seeing him take sunglasses out of a car at an evacuation center.
the suspect was also found with tools that had been reported stolen from a vineyard management company. a wine country fires have claimed the home of charles schultz. the widow of the late charles schultz was able to escape their santa rosa home but family members say many peanuts memorabilia was lost. most of the collection of original comic strips are at the charles m schultz museum and research center in santa rosa. the museum was untouched by the fires. a north bay couple who thought they lost everything is reunited with photos found among the rubble. how strangers helped bring new hope at a time they needed it most.
thank you for joining us at mornings on 2. it's friday, october 13. i'm pam cook. the weather is playing a big role in the fires. let's check in with steve paulson. this morning there are some new evacuation orders around 29. >> the firefighters are getting a break. we thought yesterday would not be much but tonight may be stronger. humidity is up. 71%, 80%, 74%. atlas peak is 35%. they do have a northwest wind at 7. american canyon has a northeast breezes. things are pretty calm right now. they will pick up later on. we have a system coming down and the red flag warning starts at 5 pm for some and 11 pm for others. firefighters get a break this morning. i can't find much of a breeze