A week after deadly wildfires began to spread through Northern California’s dry hills, North Bay officials said this week that the effort to contain the flames finally has gained some traction.
“Conditions have drastically changed from just 24 hours ago, and that is definitely a very good sign,” Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire protection, told ABC News on Sunday. “It’s probably a sign we’ve turned a corner on the fires.”
“A week ago this started as a nightmare,” added Napa County Supervisor Belia Ramos, “and the day we dreamed of has arrived.”
One of the best tools we’ve come across to keep tabs on the ongoing fires is the San Francisco Chronicle’s interactive map, which shows how the blazes have spread over the past week, destroying property and hurting nearby air quality.
Since they first began, the so-called Wine Country fires have become some of the most devastating in California history. They’ve killed at least 41 people, spurred the evacuation of more than 40,000 others, and destroyed upward of 5,700 structures. In Santa Rosa, a city in Sonoma County, even the local fire station went up in smoke.
The region’s cannabis cultivators have been among those hit hardest. Unlike other farmers in the area, cannabis growers generally don’t have access to crop insurance. Some lost entire crops just as the plants became ready to harvest. Industry leaders have estimated that damages could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Drone footage posted by Facebook user Phillip Ung shows some of the damage to the region.
We’ve also put together a list of ways to help those impacted by the fire.