The bulk of the high wind readings in Sonoma County were in northern Santa Rosa, where the Kincade fire is threatening to burn into areas destroyed two years ago in the deadly Tubbs fire of October 2017.
There, gusts reached 20-30 mph, while wind gusts at higher elevations still reached 40 mph by 6 a.m. and by 8 a.m. had tapered down to 30 mph.
The downward trend is expected to continue Monday, giving the 4,000-plus firefighters a reprieve and a chance to again reestablish containment in key areas.
“The unfortunate thing is, as we go into Tuesday, we do expect winds to pick back up again,” Tangen said.
Tuesday morning will bring gusts along the higher peaks, and by evening those winds will reach 60-70 mph, with 20-30 mph gusts – reaching 40 mph in places – in the valleys, Tangen said.
A few homes apparently burned Sunday night in Shiloh Estates and the Kincade fire’s impact grew Sunday to Monday, now listed at more than 66,000 acres, mostly unchecked with containment still at 5 percent.
Fire also burned early Monday on Safari West and Pepperwood Preserve property in the Mark West Springs corridor and fire officials feared it could take a new direction, running up nearby Mount St. Helena in the next few days, threatening Calistoga and Middletown, Cal Fire Battalion Chief Marshall Turbeville said Monday.
While Geyserville and Cloverdale remained threatened by the northern arm of the fire, that threat eased Monday morning with the calmed winds and more active fire elsewhere.
Healdsburg also remained threatened but that also was diminished Monday. The closest fire to town was burning across the Russian River from Fitch Mountain. Current, more serious issues included fire burning above Windsor neighborhoods, threatening the town of Windsor, as well as Wikiup and Larkfield communities in Santa Rosa.
“The priority is everywhere, almost,” Turbeville said.
Monday was a chance to dig in and increase containment lines, ahead of more wind due Tuesday.
“The weather is going to help us out today,” he said.
Cal Fire’s morning update included that 96 structures have been destroyed, up by two from Sunday night’s tally.
And more help continued to arrive at base camp at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, with 4,150 firefighters now on the effort. There also are 10 helicopters, 444 fire engines, 53 dozers and 30 water tenders involved.
“There will be a tremendous amount of firefighters there today,” Turbeville said.
The fire’s western flank was still holding near Highway 101 between Healdsburg and Windsor. That’s a major line for firefighters wanting to keep it from jumping the highway and taking off into western Sonoma County.
North of Santa Rosa the fire burned northwest of Franz Valley Road and had moved onto Safari West property and Pepperwood Preserve, Turbeville said. Initial information was that flames hadn’t reach buildings, although that wasn’t confirmed early Monday.
A Safari West spokesman Monday said the fire wasn’t causing any serious issues on the property.
“We’re keeping it away from Mark West Springs Road,” Turbeville said.