SANTA ROSA -- In darkness Sunday morning, Karen Kristensen was packing two cars for her 88-year-old mother, Beverly, and herself.

Their Coffey Park neighborhood was ordered evacuated as the Kincade fire grew, and once again they were forced to outrun the flames.

The 2017 fires burned into Santa Rosa, consuming thousands of homes in Fountaingate, Coffey Park and other communities. Dozens who could not outrun the flames died.

Those who survived 2017 felt they were reliving it again Sunday as the Kincade fire to the north prompt evacuations for a big swath of Santa Rosa as well as other Sonoma County cities. As of Sunday morning, the fire was still miles to the north.

Homes here are still under construction or brand new. Kristensen just moved back in August. Last time, they escaped with just some laundry and a few pictures.

"I wore shorts for two weeks," she said. "Everything was dust. There was nothing left."

Though they are leaving, Kristensen said this night feels different than the Tubbs fire. Then, large embers were blowing through and it was hot. Sunday by 6 a.m., the feared Diablo winds seemed to have stilled and the temperature was in the 60.

They also had more time to prepare, she said, with multiple warnings.

"This stupid thing has been ringing all night," she said, holding up her cellphone. "Which is good. I have no problem with it."

In a house on the edge of Coffey Park, which burned to the ground in the 2017 Tubbs fire, Daniel Barcenas, his two brothers and his 80-year-old grandmother were still in their house before dawn on Sunday, despite an evacuation order that came right up to their street but stopped short of their front door.

Barcenas lost two homes in the last fire. He lived in Coffey Park in a rental with his grandma and had just purchased a nearby home. "The day before the fire we had just finished painting," he said of the house he never got to move into.

Now it is just a vacant lot, and he has purchased this third home that once again faces danger of destruction. The night of the Tubbs fire, the smoke was so bad that he could not see in front of him and traffic was at a standstill in the subdivision.

The only light was from explosions, he said. At one point, he feared he would have to get out of the car and carry his grandmother to safety. He is staying behind now only because his brother, Eduardo, refuses to leave.

"He's stubborn," Barcenas said.

Eduardo had spent the day watering down the lawn, but Barcenas was not convinced they were safe.

The brothers sat on the back porch as winds whipped through the area in the dark and said they saw power lines crashing together and sparking just past their backyard.

"It looked like lightning," said Barcenas' other brother, Jose.

Barcenas takes this seriously after his last experience. "It's like what it must have been like to survive the Titanic and have to go through it all again," he said

Get local news delivered to your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.