Evacuations continue in California’s wine country
2017-10-14 22:02:54

HARI SREENIVASAN: Guy Marzorati, a reporter for KQED in San Francisco. He’s been covering the wildfires and now joins me now via Skype. Guy what have you seen today?(1)

GUY MARZORATI: Well today, fire officials are a little more optimistic than they were yesterday based on the fact that they believe that the winds that really pushed these fires around Sonoma and Napa County started to die down this afternoon.(2)

They hope to remove the red flag warning later tonight and that’s allowed them to let a lot of folks move back into their homes last night. 26,000 people were repopulated.(3)

Obviously there’s a lot of work that goes into before that in terms of making sure the homes are safe and able to be re-energized possibly.(4)

But that was an optimistic note that was sound this morning.(5)

HARI SREENIVASAN: And what about Santa Rosa where you’re standing now?(6)

We’ve heard reports that parts of that city are going to be evacuated or are being evacuated.(7)

GUY MARZORATI: That’s right. So there’s still tough work ahead this morning.(8)

Thousands of residents, 3,000 residents, were evacuated from Santa Rosa, 250 more from the city of Sonoma.(9)

That’s because of this nuns fire that started encroaching upon the city last night.(10)

Firefighters worked to make sure that it didn’t get into the city, but there were some buildings that burned on the outskirts of Sonoma. 250 residents had to be evacuated.(11)

HARI SREENIVASAN: What are the firefighters you’re speaking with saying? How are they feeling now days after this?(12)

Are they getting replenishment? New troops coming in to help fight these blazes or are they taking double and triple shifts?(13)

GUY MARZORATI: Well I think both. The road that I’m on has trucks passing with city names emblazoned on them.(14)

These are trucks from all over California and the United States. But at the same time there is definitely fatigue sitting in with firefighters working long shifts.(15)

I had a briefing this morning where the fire captain tried to energize the firefighters by reminding them of the good work that has been done in repopulating these cities.(16)

But people are referring to the nuns fire here in Sonoma County as a big unwieldy beast.(17)

So there’s definitely going to be days ahead where they are going to try and make sure that this fire doesn’t get any closer to any of the cities in this region.(18)

HARI SREENIVASAN: Can you please put it in perspective for someone who is perhaps unfamiliar with northern California or the region you’re in?(19)

When you go north of San Francisco, what do you see?(20)

GUY MARZORATI: We are used to seeing wildfires in California but in very rural areas and it can sometimes feel like you’re apart from where the actual fire is going on.(21)

But as I drove up from San Francisco up here this morning, smoke is around your car and the entire way you’re constantly reminded by the poor air quality that fires are happening in our region.(22)

So this definitely feels like a fire that’s much closer to home both in terms of the air quality and also as you see folks having to evacuate the cities around the Bay Area.(23)

HARI SREENIVASAN: Guy Marzorati of KQED in San Francisco joining us via Skype today from Santa Rosa California. Thanks so much.(24)

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