'Never seen anything like this': Glass Fire firefighters facing exhaustion as more wind threatens Napa County

Thursday, October 1, 2020
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A CAL FIRE spokesman, says the wind could push the Glass Fire back south over itself. The concern is that the fire could still land in unburned areas and communities, like Angwin.

NAPA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Fires were visible in every direction From Hwy 29 in Calistoga Wednesday night. The Napa Valley floor was surrounded by flames and saturated in smoke on day four of the Glass Fire.

"It's just incredible. It's been a massive fire and we've never seen anything like this," said Hugo Maldonado.

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The flames were dangerously close to Maldonado's small family winery north of Calistoga.

"The whole wine industry, our wine right now, we've had a really hard time this year," said Maldonado. "We're all just praying that the fire department and CAL FIRE they all get it under control."

DC10's and helicopters worked until sunset near Maldonado's winery, dropping retardant and water on the fire, which has been burning relentlessly across the hillsides.

On the other side of Hwy 29 in Saint Helena, a heavily wooded area around Diamond Mountain Road was also on fire.

VIDEO: Glass Fire flames surround driver escaping Napa Valley's Silverado Trail

Most residents are evacuated, while firefighters work non-stop to save Napa County communities.

"Our guys have gone anywhere from 96 hours to 102 hours straight before their first break and that's actual physical work for that long," said Tim Edwards, a CAL FIRE firefighter and president of their union.

He says firefighters have been working for the past 8 weeks on fires up and down the state.

"Unfortunately, we're getting those calls, they feel like they're going to get divorces because their spouses are stressed out because they're not coming home."

RELATED: Glass Fire: Firefighters hold line on Hwy 29 in Napa County

Firefighters say the cumulative effect of the past five horrific fire seasons is setting in.

"It's really taken a toll not just on them physically, but mentally because as firefighters we pride ourselves in getting things done and protecting people and when you have that massive loss of property and life, you get this feeling like you didn't do your job," explained Edwards.

Wind is expected to pick up on Thursday. Robert Foxworthy, a CAL FIRE spokesman, says the wind could push fire back south over itself. The concern is that the fire could still land in unburned areas and communities, like Angwin.

The good news, is that CAL FIRE has been preparing for Thursday's dangerous fire conditions, and pulling in more resources to hopefully contain the flames and the damage.

Get the latest updates and videos on the Glass Incident here.