Calisotga and Kincade Fire

A fire truck passes through the smokey intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue the afternoon of Oct. 28 when Calistoga was under an advisory evacuation order.

Updated at 2:37 p.m. Authorities on Thursday afternoon lifted a warning for Calistoga residents to consider evacuating as crews continued to beat back the wildfire that has raged in neighboring Sonoma County for more than a week.

At 2 p.m., the Napa County Office of Emergency Services announced the end of an evacuation advisory that had been in effect since Sunday in Calistoga, the closest town in the county to the front line of the Kincade Fire.

Residents had been told prepare themselves for a rapid exit in case the fire crossed the Sonoma-Napa border, but Cal Fire never took the next step of announcing mandatory evacuations like those ordered in Healdsburg, Windsor and parts of Santa Rosa.

After a night of slackening North Bay winds and colder temperatures, the Kincade Fire remained steady at 76,825 acres at about 11 a.m. Thursday, with firefighters increasing their containment to 60 percent, Cal Fire reported.

Meanwhile, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. continued reconnecting county residents to the grid, in the aftermath of the utility’s third mass shutdown in a week filled with dangerously high winds that threatened to topple power lines and trigger new blazes. As of 7 a.m. Thursday, the company said it had restored service to 91 percent of the 16,820 local customers since Tuesday morning, leaving about 2,000 households still without power.

Most of those without power are in Calistoga, and the rest in unincorporated areas, Napa County reported.

PG&E said its goal is to have everyone’s power restored no later than 9 p.m. Thursday.

Calistoga restoration is hampered by the Kincade Fire because PG&E can’t fly helicopters in a fire zone. That means all inspections of lines are being done on foot or using ATVs in remote areas, the utility reported.

Depending on what they find in terms of damage, full restoration for Calistoga could go past the 9 p.m. deadline, PG&E said.

As evacuation alerts have expired in Sonoma, Napa and Lake counties, emergency workers have been winding down the shelters, resource centers and charging stations that had opened up to serve those leaving their homes.

In Napa, shelters at CrossWalk Community Church and the Napa Valley Expo were closed Thursday.

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You can reach City Editor Kevin Courtney at or at 707-256-2217.


City Editor

Kevin has been city editor since September 2010. He joined the Register in 1973 as a reporter. He covered Napa City Hall and assorted other beats over the years. Kevin has been writing his Napa Journal column on Sundays since 1989.