A sculpture honoring a single firefighter – but in reality paying tribute to all those who were integral in helping fight the fires and providing huge amounts of ongoing support to all who were affected by this terrible natural disaster.
This page covers first-hand some of the worst hit areas in Santa Rosa – during and after the fires of October 2017.
TUBBS FIRE OCTOBER 2017, SANTA ROSA
In the evening of October 8th a fire that started north of Calistoga (near Bennett Lane) came all the way into the Santa Rosa city limits within a few hours (normally a 30 minute drive) including into residential and industrial parts of the city. In terms of total destruction, this was the worst natural disaster Sonoma County has ever experienced with approximately 6,800 structures destroyed in Sonoma County alone (includes 5636 structures) with a combined nearly 9,000 structures in total destroyed across the state in October 2017.
“I am lost, but I know EXACTLY where I am” (standing among the ruins)
The Tubbs Fire jumped the 101 freeway north of town in several places and destroyed significant parts of both neighborhoods and businesses around Cleveland and Piner Aves. A number of hotels were also destroyed including America’s Best Value Inn, Flamingo Inn and the Hilton Fountaingrove. Restaurants were destroyed including an Applebees, Arby’s, McDonalds and Cricklewood Restaurant, Mountain Mike’s Pizza, Puerto Vallarta Mexican Restaurant, Sweet T’s and Willi’s Wine Bar. Two shopping centers severely damaged or completely destroyed included the 114,000 square foot K-Mart and Fountaingrove Village.
This fire also completely destroyed hundreds of homes in the Fountaingrove neighborhoods – cul-de-sac after cul-de-sac were obliterated. The Fountaingrove golf course country club building was in ruins. One of Santa Rosa’s iconic and most visible historical buildings was 100% destroyed, the Fountaingrove Red Barn (hopefully the city will rebuild this ASAP). Paradise Ridge Winery (also in Fountaingrove) was burned to the ground.
And by no means were the destroyed parts of Santa Rosa the only destruction – numerous fires caused considerable damage in other parts of Sonoma County including Glen Ellen, Kenwood and significant damage in neighboring Napa County including widespread damage to Atlas Peak, near Calistoga, Carneros, and Mt. Veeder. At one point there were some 14 individual fires burning in the Napa and Sonoma regions.
A number of Sonoma and Napa wineries were destroyed or sustained significant damage. Some of these Napa wineries include:
Atlas Peak/Soda Canyon: Vin Roc and White Rock (both have caves fortunately which were mostly protected from the fire) and Patland Estate (home), Roy Estate and Sill Winery. Jarvis (not the cave) also sustained serious property damage. A number of vintner’s homes were also destroyed in this part of Napa.
Calistoga: Helena View Johnston in Calistoga (perhaps the first Napa winery in the fires to be burnt to the ground – and the first call we received about fire damage around 1230am) and a building at Storybook Winery.
Mt. Veeder: Wing Canyon (winery & home destroyed) Sky Vineyards (home destroyed, winery partially damaged), Mayacamas, Paras Vineyard and Pulido-Walker.
Stags Leap District: Hagafen (minor damage) and Signorello Estate (winery and hospitality center completely burned down) and some buildings at Stags’ Leap Winery.
This fire was not unprecedented – although it certainly was in terms of homes & businesses burned and the economic damage. In 1964 the Hanley Fire burned all the way from the slopes of Mt. St. Helena in the Napa Valley to the outskirts of Santa Rosa. If you know where to look on certain properties in the swath of that fire, you can still see the burn marks on Redwood Trees (some 50+ years later).
Our photos below cover first hand the destruction in parts of Santa Rosa (Fountaingrove & Coffee Park area) from during the actual fire fighting on the front lines, to the immediate morning and next day aftermath to several weeks after the fires (when the smoke finally cleared out of the skies).
TUBBS FIRE SANTA ROSA OVERVIEW
AERIAL, FIRE DAMAGE
MOSTLY CLEVELAND AVE BUSINESSES
CARDINAL NEWMAN HIGH SCHOOL
JOURNEYS END TRAILER PARK
MARK WEST SPRINGS NEIGHBORHOODS
BEFORE (all of these structures burned down)
Fighting Fire on Front Lines, Fountaingrove Neighborhood
Aerial View, Fountaingrove Village
Aerial View, Fountaingrove Cul-De-Sacs
Aerial View Fountaingrove Golf Course Clubhouse