Glass Fire forces more than 26,000 North Bay students to evacuate

Stephanie Sierra Image
Thursday, October 1, 2020
North Bay wildfire forces thousands of students to evacuate
Tens of thousands of students have evacuated in Sonoma and Napa Counties due to the fast-moving Glass fire burning in the North Bay.

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Tens of thousands of students have evacuated in Sonoma and Napa Counties due to the fast-moving Glass Fire burning in the North Bay.

In Sonoma County, more than 24,000 students have been forced from their homes. In Napa County, ABC7 confirmed 2,300 students have evacuated.

RELATED: Fire crews work relentlessly to contain Glass Fire, save evacuated city of Calistoga

Julie Zweifel and her two daughters returned to their home Wednesday afternoon to see part of Maria Carrillo High School in Santa Rosa burnt.

"Oh my gosh...we're so grateful that it didn't get more of the school," she said. "I can't believe how close it got."

Zweifel and her two daughters evacuated within 30 minutes Sunday night as the Glass fire tore through Rincon Valley.

"We saw the embers fly up and over the mountain onto the hillside right behind our house and to the school," she said. "It was scary...we couldn't even get out."

For Bailey, dealing with the pandemic has been hard enough.

VIDEO: Parts of famed Castello di Amorosa Winery destroyed in Glass Fire

The owner of Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga says he worst nightmare came true early Monday when part of his beloved winery caught fire and began to burn.

"COVID... it sucks because you're at home trying to learn and without your friends," she said. "Now, when this happens it sucks... because we need our friends right now."

Sonoma County Superintendent Dr. Steve Herrington said six out of 10 students in the district report experiencing trauma due to fires.

"We've had kindergarteners shake...visibly shake when they see smoke," said Herrington. "We have families with kids who act out when they see smoke."

Dr. Herrington said the school districts are providing PTSD training and counselors for students who've evacuated.

"Many of those students have been evacuated as many as five times due to fires in recent years," said Herrington.

RELATED: Video shows chunks of ash, debris from Glass Fire falling in Santa Rosa

Just like Bailey and her sister Taylor Zweifel who evacuated from the Tubbs Fire in 2017.

"Feels like Deja Vu from three years ago, but this is closer to home because it's our own backyard," Zweifel said.

A backyard that's now burnt, a symbolic picture of 2020.

For more information on what resources Sonoma County offers to help children through trauma, click here.

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