California wildfire destroys over 550 homes as fire crews increase containment, ‘turned the corner’

A wildfire burning in Northern California’s famed wine country has now destroyed over 550 homes, but officials said Monday they were hopeful as containment of the blaze increased overall.

Cal Fire said as of Tuesday morning the Glass Fire that’s burning in Napa and Sonoma counties has scorched some 66,840 acres and is now 50% contained.

“We have turned the corner on the fire as a whole,” Cal Fire division chief Ben Nicholls said during a briefing in Sonoma County.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE SURPASSES 1 MILLION ACRES AS AUGUST COMPLEX DUBBED ‘MEGAFIRE’

Over 2,700 fire personnel are involved in the battle against the blaze, with some 408 fire engines deployed in the fight against the two-county blaze, according to the agency.

“We are the priority for the state here,” Nicholls said Monday.

In this Sept. 28, 2020, file photo, houses leveled by the Glass Fire are viewed on a street in the Skyhawk neighborhood of Santa Rosa, Calif.

In this Sept. 28, 2020, file photo, houses leveled by the Glass Fire are viewed on a street in the Skyhawk neighborhood of Santa Rosa, Calif.
(AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

The blaze has destroyed some 553 homes, with 297 in Sonoma County and 256 in Napa County that have been lost so far. The wildfire is still threatening over 21,000 structures, according to fire officials.

A firefighter runs past flames while battling the Glass Fire in a Calistoga, Calif., vineyard Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.

A firefighter runs past flames while battling the Glass Fire in a Calistoga, Calif., vineyard Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.
(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The wildfire has also damaged or destroyed at least 18 wineries, with many locations reporting major damage.

“We have a little half an acre here that got pretty scorched,” Lisa Drinkward of Behrens Family Winery told KTVU.

A chimney stands at a Fairwinds Estate Winery building, which burned in the Glass Fire, on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in Calistoga, Calif.

A chimney stands at a Fairwinds Estate Winery building, which burned in the Glass Fire, on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in Calistoga, Calif.
(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Nearly 3,000 people remain under mandatory evacuation orders in Sonoma County, while 13,000 are under warnings and may need to leave if told to, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES HAVE BUILDINGS WRAPPED LIKE ‘A BIG BAKED POTATO’ AS OVER 4 MILLION ACRES BURN

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that the state’s 313 fire crews continue to make significant progress against fires burning in the state as forecasters are calling for rain in the northern part of the state by the end of the week.

A firefighter walks a path as the Glass Fire burns along Highway 29 in Calistoga, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.

A firefighter walks a path as the Glass Fire burns along Highway 29 in Calistoga, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.
(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

“We are finally getting our arms around it,” the governor said.

There are still 23 major wildfires burning across the state, which has seen more than 4 million acres scorched so far in 2020.

Virtually all the damage has occurred since mid-August when five of the six largest fires in state history erupted. Lightning strikes caused some of the most devastating blazes, with many burning in largely unpopulated land.

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Newsom said the amount of land scorched by the August Complex that’s burned over 1 million acres is larger than all the recorded fires in California between 1932 and 1999.

The wildfires this year have incinerated at least 8,700 structures, many of them homes, from the San Bernardino National Forest east of Los Angeles to Napa Valley and up to the Oregon border. They have also killed 31 people.

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Dry conditions continue for the western U.S. on Tuesday, which is not helping the wildfire danger across the region.

The current number of large wildfires burning across the U.S. as of Oct. 6, 2020.

The current number of large wildfires burning across the U.S. as of Oct. 6, 2020.
(Fox News)

Air quality alerts are still in effect for parts of California, Oregon, and Colorado due to the smoke spreading from the current wildfires burning.

Fox News’ Janice Dean and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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