'Armageddon': Wildfires engulf 50k acres in California's wine country

Napa County fire just outside of American Canyon

Napa County fire just outside of American Canyon

At least 1,500 structures have been destroyed, California's fire chief said.

The fires have ignited since Sunday night, Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott said at a news conference.

Authorities in Marin and San Francisco counties made the same plea, asking residents who smell smoke not to call 911 unless they see flames.

Evacuation orders in Napa County include the Wooden Valley area, Montecito area, Old Sonoma Road to Buhman Avenue, Dealy Lane, Henry Road, Coombsville Road and Wild Horse Valley Road.

Fires also burned just to the east in the Napa County wine country as well as in Yuba, Butte and Nevada counties - all north of the state capital.

The area of Fountaingrove was particularly hard-hit, with photos showing numerous homes on fire. Much of a mobile home park behind the Kaiser facility burned, CNN affiliate KPIX said. And that was just the beginning. One of the blazes in Sonoma County was at 300 acres and has been dubbed the Nuns Fire.

"Around 3 a.m., there was a lot slamming of doors, shouting, vehicle engines revving, so, I get up and go downstairs", Jake Palmgren, a 20-year-old custom crush worker told Wine Enthusiast.

Mandatory evacuations were issued late Sunday after fires broke out across four counties, the Associated Press reported.

The National Weather Service said the fires, which caused power outages and blanketed much of the Bay Area in smoke, were being fanned by strong and dry northeast winds. The Crosswalk Church was opened earlier as a evacuation center, but it's at capacity.

With so many fires, residents of Sonoma County struggled to figure out what roads to take, finding downed trees or flames blocking some routes. Officials had closed 33 roads as of 6:30 a.m and set up an emergency shelter capable of hosting large animals at the Yuba-Sutter fairgrounds.

Cal Fire says firefighters were battling a 200-acre (80.9-hectare) fire in Napa County.

If O'Gorman hadn't been coming home from work to wake her family, "we would have been in the house trapped", she said. "And then when they came, they had only a couple of guys", he told the station.

"In a situation like this, it is really important that we be the best we can be", he said.

"Gusty north to northeasterly winds will continue into early Monday afternoon across north-central California, especially in the mountains and down into the foothills", Root said.

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