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California wildfires destroy famous Napa Valley winery as raging Glass Fire inferno forces 2,000 residents to flee


WILDFIRES have destroyed a famous Napa Valley winery as 2,000 residents were urged to leave their homes in California.

Pictures show the Chateau Boswell engulfed in flames as the Glass Fire continues to rage near St Helena.

Meanwhile, the Black Rock Inn was also pictured ablaze just one mile away from the winery.

Within 12 hours, some 2,500 acres had been burned by the inferno as 64 other wineries were warned to evacuate.

Several other communities and those living on rural estates have been told to flee as firefighters admitted the blaze is “zero per cent” contained.

County emergency management officials say 743 homes and 1,857 people are within the Glass Fire evacuation zone.

And a further 1,370 homes and 3,425 people have warned they my have to soon evacuate.

Winds gusting at 55pm are hampering attempts to put out the Glass Fire, which broke out at 3.50am on Sunday.

California wildfires have scorched some 3.7million acres in 2020 – being the most devastating since records began.

Firefighters are continuing to fight some 25 major blazes across the state – with 7,000 structures destroyed and 26 people killed.

The Glass fire is now threatening about 2,200 structures as it continues to burn in Napa County.

It is threatening the famous wine-growing region which has been the site of vineyards since the 1860s.

Sirens sounded and 14 sheriffs deputies went door-to-door in the county urging people to leave their homes.

Among those evacuated were 50 patients airlifted from Adventist Health St. Helena hospital in Deer Park. 

The cause of the massive fire is under investigation and luckily no one is reported to be injured.

It has come midway through the traditional grape-harvesting period in the Napa Valley.

The area is regarded as one of California’s premiere wine-producing regions. 

It is home to Beringer, one of California’s oldest continuously operating wineries, and some wines made in the region can sell for up to $460 a bottle.

Susan Krausz, co-owner of Arkenstone Estate Vineyards in the Howell Mountain community of Angwin, said: “Most people have harvested. But any time’s a bad time for a fire.”

Jan Zakin, who lives in the evacuation zone on North Crystal Springs Road, told ABC: “We woke up in the middle of the night and saw flames.

“I was in my underwear. There was a car on fire blocking access out. My dog ran away; I still haven’t found her.

“We left with nothing, just literally with nothing. We’re so lucky to be alive.”

Her dog Zsa Zsa was later found but was suffering from burns and is being treated by a vet.

Magaly Otero, another evacuee, said the fires and evacuations are now becoming a frustrating part of life.

She said: “It gets tiring, it’s becoming a lifestyle. It’s a beautiful place but it’s not right.”

The Glass Fire comes as the Pacific Gas and Electric Company said it was temporarily halting power to transmission lines in parts of 16 counties across California.

It is hoping shutting down the powerlines will help guard against the risk of sparks triggering more fires.

But the move will impact around 65,000 homes and businesses.

Fires have been raging in Oregon, California and Washington as they burn through millions of acres.

President Donald Trump has previously suggested poor forest management was the blame for the infernos.

He has criticized state and local officials for not “cutting” and clearing the area to help prevent the spread of the fires.

Speaking earlier this month, he said: “They have to do something about it. They have to do cuts in between.”

Trump last month declared the fires a major disaster as the smoke and one inferno could be seen from space.


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