Evacuation orders and warnings lifted in all areas impacted by Point Fire in Sonoma Co.

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Thursday, June 20, 2024
Evacuation orders, warnings lifted in areas impacted by Point Fire
All evacuation orders and warnings have been lifted for the Point Fire burning in Sonoma County, the sheriff's office said just after 5 p.m.

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Wildfires across California continue to keep CAL FIRE crews busy on Wednesday, but there is good news for areas impacted by the Point Fire in Sonoma County.


All evacuation orders and warnings for 727 residents south of Lake Sonoma have been lifted for the Point Fire burning in Sonoma County, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said just after 5 p.m.

Though a burn ban remains in effect as full containment of the Point Fire remains underway.

The fire started last Sunday and has charred 1,207 acres and is 50% contained.

The county's fire chief says he does not expect the fire to grow from this point.

The CAL FIRE Unit fighting these flames covers six counties including Sonoma and Napa, and they say they've seen more acres burn over the last three days than in the previous three years combined.

The Point Fire has destroyed two homes and one person was injured.

In the area south of Lake Sonoma, 328 residents were issued an evacuation order and 399 were given an evacuation warning, said Cal Fire spokesperson Chris Harvey. These were in zones SON-2E2 and SON-2E3.

Harvey confirmed Wednesday that the more than 1,100 firefighting personnel on scene weren't quite to the mop-up stage -- a term for when a fire has been contained and crews are working to extinguish the flames.

"They're still actively firefighting over there, but they do have a good line around it," he said. "The winds have calmed down a little bit today. We've also got some better temperatures today than we have had in the first 48 hours."

While he hoped crews would mop up in the next few days, he was hesitant to say they had turned a corner with a heat wave expected.

Permit Sonoma Fire Prevention Division, the fire prevention branch of the county's permitting department, issued a release Tuesday declaring a ban on all open burning in unincorporated county land except for those who have been issued a permit by a Cal Fire official who had inspected the area.

Harvey said the different agencies that oversee different jurisdictions issue burn bans with varying levels of severity, but the multiple fire agencies throughout the area typically work in collaboration.

"It's not a real concern over who was the one that saying there's a burn ban; it's that all agencies have come to an agreement that there needs to be a burn ban," he said.

And while the burn ban doesn't prevent such activities as mowing lawns or riding off-road vehicles, which can both create sparks, Harvey highlighted the importance of public education when it comes to fire prevention. Towing trailers with dragging chains or improperly discarding barbecue ashes are some examples of how people can inadvertently cause a wildfire, he said.

"We're always actively trying to educate people about what not to do during times like this," he said.

Burn restrictions will remain in effect until Cal Fire declares the end of fire season. Permit Sonoma Fire Prevention Division further warned that anyone responsible for open burning without a valid written exemption from the burn suspension may be subject to a citation, fines and the cost of the fire agency response to extinguish the fire.

MAP: Track wildfires across California

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As wildfires continue to burn, scientists throughout California are looking into the connections between these events and climate change.

Here's the latest on the other fires burning in Northern California

Sites Fire

Meanwhile, another massive fire is burning on Wednesday further north in Colusa County.

The Sites Fire is spreading rapidly.

It has burned 15,656 acres and more than 24 square miles. It is only 5% contained as of noon on Wednesday.

The area near Clear Lake is pretty sparsely populated, but there are evacuation orders for the few people who do live there.

CAL FIRE says the flames are threatening 30 structures.

RELATED: Sonoma Co. homeowners describe how firefighters saved homes from Point Fire

CAL FIRE said the goal on Tuesday is to reinforce containment lines.

They will also be conducting heavy mop-up operations.

RELATED: Air quality advisory issued through Wednesday in Bay Area

Aero Fire

In Calaveras County, the Aero Fire has grown to 5,351 acres on Wednesday.

It is currently 33% contained.

There are evacuation orders in place with three evacuation shelters now open.

Bay City News contributed this report

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