The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the North and East bays starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday and midnight on Thursday respectively.
That means winds can gust from 20 mph to 50 mph in the higher elevation areas, fanning the flames down mountains and into the cities. As of Wednesday, the combined wildfires had scorched nearly 200,000 acres of land spanning across Solano, Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake, Nevada and a host of other counties. Some of the biggest fires, such as the Tubbs and Atlas Peak fires, were zero percent contained. Thousands had evacuated their homes, with no end date in sight.
The “missing” total continues to increase:
“This is just pure devastation, and it's going to take us a while to get out and comb through all of this,” said Pimlott. He added that the state had “several days of fire weather conditions to come.”
“We've had big fires in the past,” Gov. Jerry Brown said. “This is one of the biggest, most serious, and it's not over.”
The air in the Bay Area is becoming increasingly smoky. My personal experience in Berkeley is that the smoke is significantly worse than it was yesterday.
“We are reporting the worst air quality ever recorded for smoke in many parts of the Bay Area,” said Tom Flannigan, spokesman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. “This is similar to what you see in Beijing China in bad air days there.”
But perhaps it’s a bit churlish to detail a bit of smoke when others not far away are facing scenes like this:
Here is an entire article full of ways to help and places that are accepting donations. In Berkeley and Oakland:
Jewish Community Center in Berkeley (Walnut Street location): The community center will be accepting donations for a massive Thursday drop off. Staff are asking for clothing and toiletries. Please bring donations by 4 p.m.
Oakland 1-2-3-4 Go! Records: The long-running record store in Oakland has posted a list of needed items on its Facebook page (no clothing needed.) Donations will be dropped off in Santa Rosa throughout the week.