A fast-moving wildfire in California’s Napa Valley wine region devoured a century-old school in St. Helena early Monday after burning a historic winery, nearby luxury inn and several homes, witnesses said.
Meanwhile, a different blaze jumped containment lines elsewhere in the Golden State and threatened Paradise, the town razed by the 2018 Camp Fire.
“I’m broken. My principal just called and told me our school burned down. I hadn’t heard. Then I saw a photo, and it was actually my classroom. The whole inside was white with fire. Everything is gone,” Bryan Henry, a teacher at Foothills Adventist Elementary in St. Helena, Calif., told the Daily News on Monday.
Dear local friends of Deer Park CA with heavy heart I report that Foothills Elem original building is gone. Dorcas is gone. Community Hall gone. Surrounding homes many destroyed #GlassFire pic.twitter.com/w9ZPA01Q1D
— craig philpott (@CphilpottCraig) September 28, 2020
“It’s really hard. It feels surreal. You don’t think this type of devastation will come to you, then when it does, you wonder, ‘How do we move on?’” Henry said of the school founded in 1902.
The elementary school was claimed by the Glass Fire that broke out around 3:50 a.m. Sunday just north of the Château Boswell Winery, which also burned.
Chateau Boswell winery aftermath. This is on the Silverado Trail. The #GlassFire moved fast overnight. You can see in this video some hose lines were pulled, but this just moved too quickly for this winery to be saved. pic.twitter.com/pawOtA3NKt
— Amy Hollyfield (@amyhollyfield) September 28, 2020
The fire chewed through 11,000 acres of parched landscape “with a dangerous rate of speed” in about 24 hours and was at 0% containment Monday morning, officials said.
A dramatic photo taken by freelance photographer Justin Sullivan showed the Black Rock Inn, a luxury boutique bed and breakfast in Saint Helena, fully engulfed in flames.
Glass Fire: Never wait til the last second to evacuate. This video is from Deputy Matt Macomber, one of several deputies currently evacuating parts of Napa County. pic.twitter.com/YQXFirJ0aV
— Napa County Sheriff’s Office (@NapaSheriff) September 27, 2020
The North Complex fire in Butte County roared back to life over the weekend amid dry and windy conditions, leading officials to put the entire town of Paradise on evacuation warning Sunday night.
The Butte County Sheriff’s Office also issued immediate evacuation orders for the areas of Pulga, Concow, Big Bend and Yankee Hill.
Farther north in Shasta County, a new blaze named the Zogg Fire broke out Sunday afternoon and grew by at least 7,000 acres within hours, prompting mandatory evacuations across the region.
— CAL FIRE SHU (@CALFIRESHU) September 28, 2020
The latest fires add to an already-devastating year in California. More than 3.7 million acres of land have burned across the state in 2020, a record in modern history, causing at least 26 deaths and destroying more than 7,000 structures.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for much of the region, meaning dangerous fire conditions are expected through at least 9 p.m. Monday.
Pacific Gas & Electric announced Sunday it would temporarily shut off power to tens of thousands of California homes to prevent the spread of wildfires.
With News Wire Services