Californians hit with 2nd round of sweeping blackouts (copy)

at 2:17 p.m. — Calistoga’s evacuation advisory will likely end by Thursday as fire crews continue boxing in the Kincade wildfire in Sonoma County, the city announced Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. began inspecting lines across the Napa Valley for wind damage Wednesday morning, before restoring power to the 16,820 Napa County households that were cut off Tuesday morning in the latest safety shutoff. As of 1:15 p.m., some 12,400 customers in the county remained without service, according to Deanna Contreras, spokesperson for the utility.

In a Nixle alert, Calistoga said it anticipates that Cal Fire will lift the evacuation warning it issued Sunday for the city, the closest in the Napa Valley to the wildfire. Residents had been advised to make ready for a quick exit but were not ordered to leave immediately.

Although the eastern part of the Kincade Fire remained active overnight Tuesday amid strong North Bay winds, Cal Fire reported making forward progress on the blaze, which was 30 percent contained as of 7 a.m. The fire, which started Oct. 23 near Geyserville, has burned 76,825 acres, destroying 206 structures and damaging 40 others.

The National Weather Service had issued a wind advisory for the North Bay mountains but canceled it early Wednesday as the winds calmed. A red flag warning was in effect through 4 p.m. Wednesday because of dry conditions in the region, with relative humidity of only 8 to 18% in Calistoga.

Calistoga public schools will remain closed throughout the week, as many staff members live in parts of Sonoma County still under evacuation orders due to the fire. Mayor Chris Canning also confirmed the cancellation of the town Halloween parade scheduled for Thursday.

Elsewhere in the valley, homes and businesses began emerging from PG&E’s latest power shutoff, the third imposed in a week to guard against new fires caused by wind-toppled wires. Tuesday evening, Napa County’s Office of Emergency Services announced the restoration of electricity in American Canyon, much of which had been in the dark since an earlier PG&E shutdown took effect on Saturday.

It could take up to 48 hours before all Napa County customers have their lights on, county officials reported Wednesday morning. Napa County residents should expect a week of tranquil weather without further threat from high winds, PG&E said.

PG&E community resource centers are in place at the Napa Valley Expo at 575 Third St. in Napa, as well as St. Helena Catholic School at 1255 Oak Ave. Both centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Charging stations remain open in the Napa County Library at 580 Coombs St. in Napa, Yountville Community Center at 6516 Washington St., and the Lake Berryessa Senior Center at 4380 Spanish Flat Loop Road, according to county spokesperson Noel Brinkerhoff.

All campuses in the Napa Valley Unified School District reopened Wednesday morning, including those in American Canyon that had been idled Tuesday by the latest PG&E shutdown, according to Mike Pearson, the district’s assistant superintendent for operational services.

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You can reach City Editor Kevin Courtney at kcourtney@napanews.com or at 707-256-2217.

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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.