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Calistogans can smell the threat of the Kincade fire

Calistogans can smell the threat of the Kincade fire

CALISTOGA — A convoy of fire engines from across California rolled into Calistoga Monday morning, preparing to help defend a city that has been under an advisory evacuation since Sunday.

Many Calistogans took heed of Sunday’s initial evacuation alert and left town by Sunday night. Most of the town still had power as of Monday, and the skies were clear, though smoke from Sonoma County was in the air and on the horizon.

Fire trucks converged at the Napa County Fairgrounds about 10 a.m. to go over plans of attack and dispatch into the field.

By the afternoon, units from many parts of Calistoga were crisscrossing the neighborhoods near Tubbs Lane, assessing water supplies in case the Kincade fire were aggressively change direction with a change in the winds.

Matt Moye, winemaker at Vincent Arroyo winery posted on social media that firefighters from Burbank had just finished scouting his property. They wanted to know where water was and what were the winery’s priorities in what needed the most saving.

“Scary that fire is approaching, but relieved that they know where to go and what to try and save. Stay safe Calistoga!!!”

Many Calistoga residents were taking the Kincade fire in stride and getting on with their daily lives. Some had survived mandatory evacuations during the 2017 Tubbs Fire, the unexpected first of PG&E’s power shutoffs last year, and the three shutoffs this month, with another scheduled to come Tuesday.

Though residential streets are fairly quiet with a lot of downed branches, there was the sound of leaf blowers in action. And although schools will remain closed through Wednesday, businesses downtown are open including Cal Mart, Hydro Grill, Bella Bakery, Café Sarafornia, Thai Kitchen, Buster’s BBQ and Copperfield’s Books.

Ron Goldin, co-owner of the just-opened Palisades Eatery, was wiping down the counters and said with a friendly smile they would be open Monday.

Calistoga residents Cristin and Joshua Szarek enjoyed breakfast at an outdoor table at Café Sarafornia. As ex-military, Joshua said he didn’t consider the evacuation alert “a big deal” but did understand that for others it could be an ordeal.

The post office also was open with regular delivery Monday.

You can reach Cynthia Sweeney at 942-4035 or

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The Weekly Calistogan Editor

Cynthia Sweeney has been editor of The Weekly Calistogan since July, 2018. Previously, she was a reporter for the St. Helena Star, and North Bay Business Journal. She also spent a significant amount of time freelancing in Hawaii.

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