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LNU Lightning Complex: Wind-Whipped Walbridge Flames Trigger Late-Night Mandatory Evacuations In Sonoma County

WINDSOR (CBS SF) -- Red Flag Warning winds whipped up flames along the Walbridge Fire lines Monday night, prompting new mandatory evacuation orders for residents in Sonoma County.

In a Tuesday morning news release, Cal Fire said "unburned islands within the Walbridge containment lines became active with the predicted winds, resulting in a small spot fire outside the containment lines resulting in evacuations orders and warnings."

Monday evening's flareup happened near Westside Road and Sweetwater Springs Road.

The National Weather Service put the Red Flag Warning into place at 10 p.m. Monday and it will run to 8 a.m. Wednesday. Fire danger in a region already ravaged by wildfires would be heightened by winds gusting from 30-50 mph. Of particular concern were the hills in the North Bay.

"Critical fire weather conditions are likely to develop across the region leading to rapid rates of spread for any new fire start," forecasters warned. "Wind gusts of between 25 and 35 mph are likely in the hills of the North and East Bay late Monday night and Tuesday morning, with gusts of 45 to 65 mph possible across northern Napa and northeast Sonoma counties."

The new Evacuation Order is for Zone 1D5:

    • South of Mill Creek Road
    • North of Sweetwater Springs Road
    • West of Westside Road
    • East of Palmer Creek Road

People living in the area should leave now.

The new Evacuation Warning is for Zone 1D5:

    • North of the Russian River (actual river)
    • East of Armstrong Woods Road
    • West of Westside Road
    • South of Sweetwater Springs Road

People living in the area should prepare to evacuate.

Sheriff's officials are asking residents to tell their neighbors about the order. First responders are going door to door to let residents know about it.

Call (707) 861-0699 for help with evacuating animals. Call (707) 234-7193 for help with evacuation livestock.

The Walbridge Fire is part of the LNU Lightning Complex which had grown 375,209 acres by Sunday night and was 91 percent containment. But Red Flag Warning winds kicked up Monday night, fanning an advance of the fire.

Before the flare up, the Walbridge Fire was at 54,940 acres and 95% contained. Thousands of evacuated residents had been allowed to return to their homes.

© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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