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Beloved California Winemaker, Peter Figge, 46, Found Dead at His Vineyard

Beloved California Winemaker, Peter Figge, 46, Found Dead at His Vineyard

Peter Figge, the Monterey, California, winemaker best known for his exquisite pinot noir, has died at the age of 46

Tributes are pouring in for the popular winemaker.

Peter Figge — the popular owner of Figge Cellars, and producer of some of the most famous pinot noir in Monterey Valley, California — has died at the age of 46. His death is currently being investigated by police.

“Peter was beloved by all who knew him and will be deeply missed,” an announcement from the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association said. “We are heartbroken by this news. And hold his family in our thoughts and prayers.”

Figge Cellars produces 2,400 cases of pinot noir and chardonnay every year, and Figge sold his own brand, Swing, at the Carmel Valley Ranch in Carmel-by-the-Sea, where he had gained substantial footing as a major player in the wine world, according to Edible Monterey Bay. He had just opened up a tasting room in Carmel Valley earlier this year, where he had previously praised the “serious” nature of the wine-browsing crowd there.

“This one hurts a lot,” local winemaker David Coventry of Talbott Vineyards told Edible Monterey Bay. “He was one of the best among us, in so many ways.”

Plan a visit to Figge Cellars in tribute, along with the 25 Best Wineries in California.

Raising a glass in honor of Peter Figge, a down to earth man who made exceptional wines #figgewines #RIP #wine

— Living Life Forte (@livinglifeforte) June 7, 2017

Peter Figge found dead at his Marina winery. Love and healing to the family. And a hole in Monterey County's heart. https://t.co/COkHMH7S1A pic.twitter.com/sQ8gUBE6cE

— Mark C. Anderson (@MontereyMCA) June 6, 2017


Santa Rosa comes to terms with the scale of devastation: 3,000 buildings lost, many dead in fire

After the fires had roared through, Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano drove through the wreckage of Santa Rosa’s Larkfield-Wikiup neighborhood.

Twisted beams and garage doors crumpled like old newspapers had replaced street after street of tidy homes. The hubcaps from charred cars had melted into rivulets of gleaming aluminum that pooled in the gutters.

“I don’t even think I understand what the damage toll is going to be, and I have a better handle on it than most,” Giordano told The Times on Friday. “Santa Rosa will be a different planet. There is so much to rebuild. It will absolutely change the community.”

Thousands of other Santa Rosa residents also struggled Friday to come to grips with the magnitude of their losses from a firestorm — among the state’s most devastating — that has coursed through California wine country since Sunday night, causing at least 34 deaths and damaging thousands of buildings.

More than half of the confirmed fatalities came in Sonoma County. Santa Rosa, the county’s largest city and home to 175,000 people, lost almost 3,000 buildings, including the hilltop house of the late Charles Schulz, the Peanuts cartoon creator.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum, perhaps the city’s leading landmark, still stood, but two hotels — the 124-room luxury Fountaingrove Inn and the 250-room Hilton Sonoma Wine Country on 13 acres — were destroyed. Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey on Friday said that the city had sustained $1.2 billion in damage and that 5% of the housing stock was wiped out.

Santa Rosa started to come back to life early Friday, and some residents may be allowed to return home Saturday or Sunday, officials said.

But the threat of new damage from the far-from-controlled fire complex still hung over the region. Firefighters scrambled Friday to dig fire lines and bulldoze debris to gain an advantage over the blazes before the gusts that fanned the flames reached expected speeds of up to 40 mph later in the day along the ridges.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office on Friday issued a mandatory evacuation north of Highway 128 from Geysers to Chalk Hill roads. Immigration officials suspended most enforcement in the Northern California fire areas, authorities said Friday, and Gov. Jerry Brown announced that the White House had agreed to send direct aid to those affected by the disaster.

Adding to Santa Rosa residents’ maelstrom of emotions was their shock that wildfire, which more commonly burns through ridges and valleys of oak brush, had swept into the neat suburban tracts miles away.

The once-placid Coffey Park neighborhood, where at least two people died, turned into a hellscape of ash and fallen timber, punctuated by the turquoise square of a swimming pool.

“We have always thought about earthquakes, and we are prepared for an earthquake,” said Luis Hernandez, a 10-year Coffey Park resident whose house was destroyed in the early morning hours Monday. “But we never thought about a fire. This caught us very off guard.”

Nearly everyone in Santa Rosa lost a home or knows someone who did — or worse. Thirty of one Santa Rosa synagogue’s 460 families found their houses destroyed, and a former president of the synagogue died, the rabbi said.

At a downtown motel where evacuees had taken refuge, David Joslyn ran into a young woman in sweatpants carrying a cat.

“My house burned down, so it’s kind of sad,” she said.

“Yeah,” she said, with a pained look on her face.

Joslyn’s own house on a ridge on Mark West Springs Road at the northern end of the city — “our extravagance” — is presumed gone, he said. Joslyn, a special-education teacher, and his wife, Sara, a psychologist, loved the private, remote feel of the house, with its 360-degree views of trees and its open living area, where their two sons did their homework and played while Joslyn cooked or did “dad stuff” in the office.


Santa Rosa comes to terms with the scale of devastation: 3,000 buildings lost, many dead in fire

After the fires had roared through, Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano drove through the wreckage of Santa Rosa’s Larkfield-Wikiup neighborhood.

Twisted beams and garage doors crumpled like old newspapers had replaced street after street of tidy homes. The hubcaps from charred cars had melted into rivulets of gleaming aluminum that pooled in the gutters.

“I don’t even think I understand what the damage toll is going to be, and I have a better handle on it than most,” Giordano told The Times on Friday. “Santa Rosa will be a different planet. There is so much to rebuild. It will absolutely change the community.”

Thousands of other Santa Rosa residents also struggled Friday to come to grips with the magnitude of their losses from a firestorm — among the state’s most devastating — that has coursed through California wine country since Sunday night, causing at least 34 deaths and damaging thousands of buildings.

More than half of the confirmed fatalities came in Sonoma County. Santa Rosa, the county’s largest city and home to 175,000 people, lost almost 3,000 buildings, including the hilltop house of the late Charles Schulz, the Peanuts cartoon creator.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum, perhaps the city’s leading landmark, still stood, but two hotels — the 124-room luxury Fountaingrove Inn and the 250-room Hilton Sonoma Wine Country on 13 acres — were destroyed. Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey on Friday said that the city had sustained $1.2 billion in damage and that 5% of the housing stock was wiped out.

Santa Rosa started to come back to life early Friday, and some residents may be allowed to return home Saturday or Sunday, officials said.

But the threat of new damage from the far-from-controlled fire complex still hung over the region. Firefighters scrambled Friday to dig fire lines and bulldoze debris to gain an advantage over the blazes before the gusts that fanned the flames reached expected speeds of up to 40 mph later in the day along the ridges.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office on Friday issued a mandatory evacuation north of Highway 128 from Geysers to Chalk Hill roads. Immigration officials suspended most enforcement in the Northern California fire areas, authorities said Friday, and Gov. Jerry Brown announced that the White House had agreed to send direct aid to those affected by the disaster.

Adding to Santa Rosa residents’ maelstrom of emotions was their shock that wildfire, which more commonly burns through ridges and valleys of oak brush, had swept into the neat suburban tracts miles away.

The once-placid Coffey Park neighborhood, where at least two people died, turned into a hellscape of ash and fallen timber, punctuated by the turquoise square of a swimming pool.

“We have always thought about earthquakes, and we are prepared for an earthquake,” said Luis Hernandez, a 10-year Coffey Park resident whose house was destroyed in the early morning hours Monday. “But we never thought about a fire. This caught us very off guard.”

Nearly everyone in Santa Rosa lost a home or knows someone who did — or worse. Thirty of one Santa Rosa synagogue’s 460 families found their houses destroyed, and a former president of the synagogue died, the rabbi said.

At a downtown motel where evacuees had taken refuge, David Joslyn ran into a young woman in sweatpants carrying a cat.

“My house burned down, so it’s kind of sad,” she said.

“Yeah,” she said, with a pained look on her face.

Joslyn’s own house on a ridge on Mark West Springs Road at the northern end of the city — “our extravagance” — is presumed gone, he said. Joslyn, a special-education teacher, and his wife, Sara, a psychologist, loved the private, remote feel of the house, with its 360-degree views of trees and its open living area, where their two sons did their homework and played while Joslyn cooked or did “dad stuff” in the office.


Santa Rosa comes to terms with the scale of devastation: 3,000 buildings lost, many dead in fire

After the fires had roared through, Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano drove through the wreckage of Santa Rosa’s Larkfield-Wikiup neighborhood.

Twisted beams and garage doors crumpled like old newspapers had replaced street after street of tidy homes. The hubcaps from charred cars had melted into rivulets of gleaming aluminum that pooled in the gutters.

“I don’t even think I understand what the damage toll is going to be, and I have a better handle on it than most,” Giordano told The Times on Friday. “Santa Rosa will be a different planet. There is so much to rebuild. It will absolutely change the community.”

Thousands of other Santa Rosa residents also struggled Friday to come to grips with the magnitude of their losses from a firestorm — among the state’s most devastating — that has coursed through California wine country since Sunday night, causing at least 34 deaths and damaging thousands of buildings.

More than half of the confirmed fatalities came in Sonoma County. Santa Rosa, the county’s largest city and home to 175,000 people, lost almost 3,000 buildings, including the hilltop house of the late Charles Schulz, the Peanuts cartoon creator.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum, perhaps the city’s leading landmark, still stood, but two hotels — the 124-room luxury Fountaingrove Inn and the 250-room Hilton Sonoma Wine Country on 13 acres — were destroyed. Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey on Friday said that the city had sustained $1.2 billion in damage and that 5% of the housing stock was wiped out.

Santa Rosa started to come back to life early Friday, and some residents may be allowed to return home Saturday or Sunday, officials said.

But the threat of new damage from the far-from-controlled fire complex still hung over the region. Firefighters scrambled Friday to dig fire lines and bulldoze debris to gain an advantage over the blazes before the gusts that fanned the flames reached expected speeds of up to 40 mph later in the day along the ridges.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office on Friday issued a mandatory evacuation north of Highway 128 from Geysers to Chalk Hill roads. Immigration officials suspended most enforcement in the Northern California fire areas, authorities said Friday, and Gov. Jerry Brown announced that the White House had agreed to send direct aid to those affected by the disaster.

Adding to Santa Rosa residents’ maelstrom of emotions was their shock that wildfire, which more commonly burns through ridges and valleys of oak brush, had swept into the neat suburban tracts miles away.

The once-placid Coffey Park neighborhood, where at least two people died, turned into a hellscape of ash and fallen timber, punctuated by the turquoise square of a swimming pool.

“We have always thought about earthquakes, and we are prepared for an earthquake,” said Luis Hernandez, a 10-year Coffey Park resident whose house was destroyed in the early morning hours Monday. “But we never thought about a fire. This caught us very off guard.”

Nearly everyone in Santa Rosa lost a home or knows someone who did — or worse. Thirty of one Santa Rosa synagogue’s 460 families found their houses destroyed, and a former president of the synagogue died, the rabbi said.

At a downtown motel where evacuees had taken refuge, David Joslyn ran into a young woman in sweatpants carrying a cat.

“My house burned down, so it’s kind of sad,” she said.

“Yeah,” she said, with a pained look on her face.

Joslyn’s own house on a ridge on Mark West Springs Road at the northern end of the city — “our extravagance” — is presumed gone, he said. Joslyn, a special-education teacher, and his wife, Sara, a psychologist, loved the private, remote feel of the house, with its 360-degree views of trees and its open living area, where their two sons did their homework and played while Joslyn cooked or did “dad stuff” in the office.


Santa Rosa comes to terms with the scale of devastation: 3,000 buildings lost, many dead in fire

After the fires had roared through, Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano drove through the wreckage of Santa Rosa’s Larkfield-Wikiup neighborhood.

Twisted beams and garage doors crumpled like old newspapers had replaced street after street of tidy homes. The hubcaps from charred cars had melted into rivulets of gleaming aluminum that pooled in the gutters.

“I don’t even think I understand what the damage toll is going to be, and I have a better handle on it than most,” Giordano told The Times on Friday. “Santa Rosa will be a different planet. There is so much to rebuild. It will absolutely change the community.”

Thousands of other Santa Rosa residents also struggled Friday to come to grips with the magnitude of their losses from a firestorm — among the state’s most devastating — that has coursed through California wine country since Sunday night, causing at least 34 deaths and damaging thousands of buildings.

More than half of the confirmed fatalities came in Sonoma County. Santa Rosa, the county’s largest city and home to 175,000 people, lost almost 3,000 buildings, including the hilltop house of the late Charles Schulz, the Peanuts cartoon creator.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum, perhaps the city’s leading landmark, still stood, but two hotels — the 124-room luxury Fountaingrove Inn and the 250-room Hilton Sonoma Wine Country on 13 acres — were destroyed. Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey on Friday said that the city had sustained $1.2 billion in damage and that 5% of the housing stock was wiped out.

Santa Rosa started to come back to life early Friday, and some residents may be allowed to return home Saturday or Sunday, officials said.

But the threat of new damage from the far-from-controlled fire complex still hung over the region. Firefighters scrambled Friday to dig fire lines and bulldoze debris to gain an advantage over the blazes before the gusts that fanned the flames reached expected speeds of up to 40 mph later in the day along the ridges.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office on Friday issued a mandatory evacuation north of Highway 128 from Geysers to Chalk Hill roads. Immigration officials suspended most enforcement in the Northern California fire areas, authorities said Friday, and Gov. Jerry Brown announced that the White House had agreed to send direct aid to those affected by the disaster.

Adding to Santa Rosa residents’ maelstrom of emotions was their shock that wildfire, which more commonly burns through ridges and valleys of oak brush, had swept into the neat suburban tracts miles away.

The once-placid Coffey Park neighborhood, where at least two people died, turned into a hellscape of ash and fallen timber, punctuated by the turquoise square of a swimming pool.

“We have always thought about earthquakes, and we are prepared for an earthquake,” said Luis Hernandez, a 10-year Coffey Park resident whose house was destroyed in the early morning hours Monday. “But we never thought about a fire. This caught us very off guard.”

Nearly everyone in Santa Rosa lost a home or knows someone who did — or worse. Thirty of one Santa Rosa synagogue’s 460 families found their houses destroyed, and a former president of the synagogue died, the rabbi said.

At a downtown motel where evacuees had taken refuge, David Joslyn ran into a young woman in sweatpants carrying a cat.

“My house burned down, so it’s kind of sad,” she said.

“Yeah,” she said, with a pained look on her face.

Joslyn’s own house on a ridge on Mark West Springs Road at the northern end of the city — “our extravagance” — is presumed gone, he said. Joslyn, a special-education teacher, and his wife, Sara, a psychologist, loved the private, remote feel of the house, with its 360-degree views of trees and its open living area, where their two sons did their homework and played while Joslyn cooked or did “dad stuff” in the office.


Santa Rosa comes to terms with the scale of devastation: 3,000 buildings lost, many dead in fire

After the fires had roared through, Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano drove through the wreckage of Santa Rosa’s Larkfield-Wikiup neighborhood.

Twisted beams and garage doors crumpled like old newspapers had replaced street after street of tidy homes. The hubcaps from charred cars had melted into rivulets of gleaming aluminum that pooled in the gutters.

“I don’t even think I understand what the damage toll is going to be, and I have a better handle on it than most,” Giordano told The Times on Friday. “Santa Rosa will be a different planet. There is so much to rebuild. It will absolutely change the community.”

Thousands of other Santa Rosa residents also struggled Friday to come to grips with the magnitude of their losses from a firestorm — among the state’s most devastating — that has coursed through California wine country since Sunday night, causing at least 34 deaths and damaging thousands of buildings.

More than half of the confirmed fatalities came in Sonoma County. Santa Rosa, the county’s largest city and home to 175,000 people, lost almost 3,000 buildings, including the hilltop house of the late Charles Schulz, the Peanuts cartoon creator.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum, perhaps the city’s leading landmark, still stood, but two hotels — the 124-room luxury Fountaingrove Inn and the 250-room Hilton Sonoma Wine Country on 13 acres — were destroyed. Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey on Friday said that the city had sustained $1.2 billion in damage and that 5% of the housing stock was wiped out.

Santa Rosa started to come back to life early Friday, and some residents may be allowed to return home Saturday or Sunday, officials said.

But the threat of new damage from the far-from-controlled fire complex still hung over the region. Firefighters scrambled Friday to dig fire lines and bulldoze debris to gain an advantage over the blazes before the gusts that fanned the flames reached expected speeds of up to 40 mph later in the day along the ridges.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office on Friday issued a mandatory evacuation north of Highway 128 from Geysers to Chalk Hill roads. Immigration officials suspended most enforcement in the Northern California fire areas, authorities said Friday, and Gov. Jerry Brown announced that the White House had agreed to send direct aid to those affected by the disaster.

Adding to Santa Rosa residents’ maelstrom of emotions was their shock that wildfire, which more commonly burns through ridges and valleys of oak brush, had swept into the neat suburban tracts miles away.

The once-placid Coffey Park neighborhood, where at least two people died, turned into a hellscape of ash and fallen timber, punctuated by the turquoise square of a swimming pool.

“We have always thought about earthquakes, and we are prepared for an earthquake,” said Luis Hernandez, a 10-year Coffey Park resident whose house was destroyed in the early morning hours Monday. “But we never thought about a fire. This caught us very off guard.”

Nearly everyone in Santa Rosa lost a home or knows someone who did — or worse. Thirty of one Santa Rosa synagogue’s 460 families found their houses destroyed, and a former president of the synagogue died, the rabbi said.

At a downtown motel where evacuees had taken refuge, David Joslyn ran into a young woman in sweatpants carrying a cat.

“My house burned down, so it’s kind of sad,” she said.

“Yeah,” she said, with a pained look on her face.

Joslyn’s own house on a ridge on Mark West Springs Road at the northern end of the city — “our extravagance” — is presumed gone, he said. Joslyn, a special-education teacher, and his wife, Sara, a psychologist, loved the private, remote feel of the house, with its 360-degree views of trees and its open living area, where their two sons did their homework and played while Joslyn cooked or did “dad stuff” in the office.


Santa Rosa comes to terms with the scale of devastation: 3,000 buildings lost, many dead in fire

After the fires had roared through, Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano drove through the wreckage of Santa Rosa’s Larkfield-Wikiup neighborhood.

Twisted beams and garage doors crumpled like old newspapers had replaced street after street of tidy homes. The hubcaps from charred cars had melted into rivulets of gleaming aluminum that pooled in the gutters.

“I don’t even think I understand what the damage toll is going to be, and I have a better handle on it than most,” Giordano told The Times on Friday. “Santa Rosa will be a different planet. There is so much to rebuild. It will absolutely change the community.”

Thousands of other Santa Rosa residents also struggled Friday to come to grips with the magnitude of their losses from a firestorm — among the state’s most devastating — that has coursed through California wine country since Sunday night, causing at least 34 deaths and damaging thousands of buildings.

More than half of the confirmed fatalities came in Sonoma County. Santa Rosa, the county’s largest city and home to 175,000 people, lost almost 3,000 buildings, including the hilltop house of the late Charles Schulz, the Peanuts cartoon creator.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum, perhaps the city’s leading landmark, still stood, but two hotels — the 124-room luxury Fountaingrove Inn and the 250-room Hilton Sonoma Wine Country on 13 acres — were destroyed. Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey on Friday said that the city had sustained $1.2 billion in damage and that 5% of the housing stock was wiped out.

Santa Rosa started to come back to life early Friday, and some residents may be allowed to return home Saturday or Sunday, officials said.

But the threat of new damage from the far-from-controlled fire complex still hung over the region. Firefighters scrambled Friday to dig fire lines and bulldoze debris to gain an advantage over the blazes before the gusts that fanned the flames reached expected speeds of up to 40 mph later in the day along the ridges.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office on Friday issued a mandatory evacuation north of Highway 128 from Geysers to Chalk Hill roads. Immigration officials suspended most enforcement in the Northern California fire areas, authorities said Friday, and Gov. Jerry Brown announced that the White House had agreed to send direct aid to those affected by the disaster.

Adding to Santa Rosa residents’ maelstrom of emotions was their shock that wildfire, which more commonly burns through ridges and valleys of oak brush, had swept into the neat suburban tracts miles away.

The once-placid Coffey Park neighborhood, where at least two people died, turned into a hellscape of ash and fallen timber, punctuated by the turquoise square of a swimming pool.

“We have always thought about earthquakes, and we are prepared for an earthquake,” said Luis Hernandez, a 10-year Coffey Park resident whose house was destroyed in the early morning hours Monday. “But we never thought about a fire. This caught us very off guard.”

Nearly everyone in Santa Rosa lost a home or knows someone who did — or worse. Thirty of one Santa Rosa synagogue’s 460 families found their houses destroyed, and a former president of the synagogue died, the rabbi said.

At a downtown motel where evacuees had taken refuge, David Joslyn ran into a young woman in sweatpants carrying a cat.

“My house burned down, so it’s kind of sad,” she said.

“Yeah,” she said, with a pained look on her face.

Joslyn’s own house on a ridge on Mark West Springs Road at the northern end of the city — “our extravagance” — is presumed gone, he said. Joslyn, a special-education teacher, and his wife, Sara, a psychologist, loved the private, remote feel of the house, with its 360-degree views of trees and its open living area, where their two sons did their homework and played while Joslyn cooked or did “dad stuff” in the office.


Santa Rosa comes to terms with the scale of devastation: 3,000 buildings lost, many dead in fire

After the fires had roared through, Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano drove through the wreckage of Santa Rosa’s Larkfield-Wikiup neighborhood.

Twisted beams and garage doors crumpled like old newspapers had replaced street after street of tidy homes. The hubcaps from charred cars had melted into rivulets of gleaming aluminum that pooled in the gutters.

“I don’t even think I understand what the damage toll is going to be, and I have a better handle on it than most,” Giordano told The Times on Friday. “Santa Rosa will be a different planet. There is so much to rebuild. It will absolutely change the community.”

Thousands of other Santa Rosa residents also struggled Friday to come to grips with the magnitude of their losses from a firestorm — among the state’s most devastating — that has coursed through California wine country since Sunday night, causing at least 34 deaths and damaging thousands of buildings.

More than half of the confirmed fatalities came in Sonoma County. Santa Rosa, the county’s largest city and home to 175,000 people, lost almost 3,000 buildings, including the hilltop house of the late Charles Schulz, the Peanuts cartoon creator.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum, perhaps the city’s leading landmark, still stood, but two hotels — the 124-room luxury Fountaingrove Inn and the 250-room Hilton Sonoma Wine Country on 13 acres — were destroyed. Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey on Friday said that the city had sustained $1.2 billion in damage and that 5% of the housing stock was wiped out.

Santa Rosa started to come back to life early Friday, and some residents may be allowed to return home Saturday or Sunday, officials said.

But the threat of new damage from the far-from-controlled fire complex still hung over the region. Firefighters scrambled Friday to dig fire lines and bulldoze debris to gain an advantage over the blazes before the gusts that fanned the flames reached expected speeds of up to 40 mph later in the day along the ridges.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office on Friday issued a mandatory evacuation north of Highway 128 from Geysers to Chalk Hill roads. Immigration officials suspended most enforcement in the Northern California fire areas, authorities said Friday, and Gov. Jerry Brown announced that the White House had agreed to send direct aid to those affected by the disaster.

Adding to Santa Rosa residents’ maelstrom of emotions was their shock that wildfire, which more commonly burns through ridges and valleys of oak brush, had swept into the neat suburban tracts miles away.

The once-placid Coffey Park neighborhood, where at least two people died, turned into a hellscape of ash and fallen timber, punctuated by the turquoise square of a swimming pool.

“We have always thought about earthquakes, and we are prepared for an earthquake,” said Luis Hernandez, a 10-year Coffey Park resident whose house was destroyed in the early morning hours Monday. “But we never thought about a fire. This caught us very off guard.”

Nearly everyone in Santa Rosa lost a home or knows someone who did — or worse. Thirty of one Santa Rosa synagogue’s 460 families found their houses destroyed, and a former president of the synagogue died, the rabbi said.

At a downtown motel where evacuees had taken refuge, David Joslyn ran into a young woman in sweatpants carrying a cat.

“My house burned down, so it’s kind of sad,” she said.

“Yeah,” she said, with a pained look on her face.

Joslyn’s own house on a ridge on Mark West Springs Road at the northern end of the city — “our extravagance” — is presumed gone, he said. Joslyn, a special-education teacher, and his wife, Sara, a psychologist, loved the private, remote feel of the house, with its 360-degree views of trees and its open living area, where their two sons did their homework and played while Joslyn cooked or did “dad stuff” in the office.


Santa Rosa comes to terms with the scale of devastation: 3,000 buildings lost, many dead in fire

After the fires had roared through, Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano drove through the wreckage of Santa Rosa’s Larkfield-Wikiup neighborhood.

Twisted beams and garage doors crumpled like old newspapers had replaced street after street of tidy homes. The hubcaps from charred cars had melted into rivulets of gleaming aluminum that pooled in the gutters.

“I don’t even think I understand what the damage toll is going to be, and I have a better handle on it than most,” Giordano told The Times on Friday. “Santa Rosa will be a different planet. There is so much to rebuild. It will absolutely change the community.”

Thousands of other Santa Rosa residents also struggled Friday to come to grips with the magnitude of their losses from a firestorm — among the state’s most devastating — that has coursed through California wine country since Sunday night, causing at least 34 deaths and damaging thousands of buildings.

More than half of the confirmed fatalities came in Sonoma County. Santa Rosa, the county’s largest city and home to 175,000 people, lost almost 3,000 buildings, including the hilltop house of the late Charles Schulz, the Peanuts cartoon creator.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum, perhaps the city’s leading landmark, still stood, but two hotels — the 124-room luxury Fountaingrove Inn and the 250-room Hilton Sonoma Wine Country on 13 acres — were destroyed. Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey on Friday said that the city had sustained $1.2 billion in damage and that 5% of the housing stock was wiped out.

Santa Rosa started to come back to life early Friday, and some residents may be allowed to return home Saturday or Sunday, officials said.

But the threat of new damage from the far-from-controlled fire complex still hung over the region. Firefighters scrambled Friday to dig fire lines and bulldoze debris to gain an advantage over the blazes before the gusts that fanned the flames reached expected speeds of up to 40 mph later in the day along the ridges.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office on Friday issued a mandatory evacuation north of Highway 128 from Geysers to Chalk Hill roads. Immigration officials suspended most enforcement in the Northern California fire areas, authorities said Friday, and Gov. Jerry Brown announced that the White House had agreed to send direct aid to those affected by the disaster.

Adding to Santa Rosa residents’ maelstrom of emotions was their shock that wildfire, which more commonly burns through ridges and valleys of oak brush, had swept into the neat suburban tracts miles away.

The once-placid Coffey Park neighborhood, where at least two people died, turned into a hellscape of ash and fallen timber, punctuated by the turquoise square of a swimming pool.

“We have always thought about earthquakes, and we are prepared for an earthquake,” said Luis Hernandez, a 10-year Coffey Park resident whose house was destroyed in the early morning hours Monday. “But we never thought about a fire. This caught us very off guard.”

Nearly everyone in Santa Rosa lost a home or knows someone who did — or worse. Thirty of one Santa Rosa synagogue’s 460 families found their houses destroyed, and a former president of the synagogue died, the rabbi said.

At a downtown motel where evacuees had taken refuge, David Joslyn ran into a young woman in sweatpants carrying a cat.

“My house burned down, so it’s kind of sad,” she said.

“Yeah,” she said, with a pained look on her face.

Joslyn’s own house on a ridge on Mark West Springs Road at the northern end of the city — “our extravagance” — is presumed gone, he said. Joslyn, a special-education teacher, and his wife, Sara, a psychologist, loved the private, remote feel of the house, with its 360-degree views of trees and its open living area, where their two sons did their homework and played while Joslyn cooked or did “dad stuff” in the office.


Santa Rosa comes to terms with the scale of devastation: 3,000 buildings lost, many dead in fire

After the fires had roared through, Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano drove through the wreckage of Santa Rosa’s Larkfield-Wikiup neighborhood.

Twisted beams and garage doors crumpled like old newspapers had replaced street after street of tidy homes. The hubcaps from charred cars had melted into rivulets of gleaming aluminum that pooled in the gutters.

“I don’t even think I understand what the damage toll is going to be, and I have a better handle on it than most,” Giordano told The Times on Friday. “Santa Rosa will be a different planet. There is so much to rebuild. It will absolutely change the community.”

Thousands of other Santa Rosa residents also struggled Friday to come to grips with the magnitude of their losses from a firestorm — among the state’s most devastating — that has coursed through California wine country since Sunday night, causing at least 34 deaths and damaging thousands of buildings.

More than half of the confirmed fatalities came in Sonoma County. Santa Rosa, the county’s largest city and home to 175,000 people, lost almost 3,000 buildings, including the hilltop house of the late Charles Schulz, the Peanuts cartoon creator.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum, perhaps the city’s leading landmark, still stood, but two hotels — the 124-room luxury Fountaingrove Inn and the 250-room Hilton Sonoma Wine Country on 13 acres — were destroyed. Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey on Friday said that the city had sustained $1.2 billion in damage and that 5% of the housing stock was wiped out.

Santa Rosa started to come back to life early Friday, and some residents may be allowed to return home Saturday or Sunday, officials said.

But the threat of new damage from the far-from-controlled fire complex still hung over the region. Firefighters scrambled Friday to dig fire lines and bulldoze debris to gain an advantage over the blazes before the gusts that fanned the flames reached expected speeds of up to 40 mph later in the day along the ridges.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office on Friday issued a mandatory evacuation north of Highway 128 from Geysers to Chalk Hill roads. Immigration officials suspended most enforcement in the Northern California fire areas, authorities said Friday, and Gov. Jerry Brown announced that the White House had agreed to send direct aid to those affected by the disaster.

Adding to Santa Rosa residents’ maelstrom of emotions was their shock that wildfire, which more commonly burns through ridges and valleys of oak brush, had swept into the neat suburban tracts miles away.

The once-placid Coffey Park neighborhood, where at least two people died, turned into a hellscape of ash and fallen timber, punctuated by the turquoise square of a swimming pool.

“We have always thought about earthquakes, and we are prepared for an earthquake,” said Luis Hernandez, a 10-year Coffey Park resident whose house was destroyed in the early morning hours Monday. “But we never thought about a fire. This caught us very off guard.”

Nearly everyone in Santa Rosa lost a home or knows someone who did — or worse. Thirty of one Santa Rosa synagogue’s 460 families found their houses destroyed, and a former president of the synagogue died, the rabbi said.

At a downtown motel where evacuees had taken refuge, David Joslyn ran into a young woman in sweatpants carrying a cat.

“My house burned down, so it’s kind of sad,” she said.

“Yeah,” she said, with a pained look on her face.

Joslyn’s own house on a ridge on Mark West Springs Road at the northern end of the city — “our extravagance” — is presumed gone, he said. Joslyn, a special-education teacher, and his wife, Sara, a psychologist, loved the private, remote feel of the house, with its 360-degree views of trees and its open living area, where their two sons did their homework and played while Joslyn cooked or did “dad stuff” in the office.


Santa Rosa comes to terms with the scale of devastation: 3,000 buildings lost, many dead in fire

After the fires had roared through, Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano drove through the wreckage of Santa Rosa’s Larkfield-Wikiup neighborhood.

Twisted beams and garage doors crumpled like old newspapers had replaced street after street of tidy homes. The hubcaps from charred cars had melted into rivulets of gleaming aluminum that pooled in the gutters.

“I don’t even think I understand what the damage toll is going to be, and I have a better handle on it than most,” Giordano told The Times on Friday. “Santa Rosa will be a different planet. There is so much to rebuild. It will absolutely change the community.”

Thousands of other Santa Rosa residents also struggled Friday to come to grips with the magnitude of their losses from a firestorm — among the state’s most devastating — that has coursed through California wine country since Sunday night, causing at least 34 deaths and damaging thousands of buildings.

More than half of the confirmed fatalities came in Sonoma County. Santa Rosa, the county’s largest city and home to 175,000 people, lost almost 3,000 buildings, including the hilltop house of the late Charles Schulz, the Peanuts cartoon creator.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum, perhaps the city’s leading landmark, still stood, but two hotels — the 124-room luxury Fountaingrove Inn and the 250-room Hilton Sonoma Wine Country on 13 acres — were destroyed. Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey on Friday said that the city had sustained $1.2 billion in damage and that 5% of the housing stock was wiped out.

Santa Rosa started to come back to life early Friday, and some residents may be allowed to return home Saturday or Sunday, officials said.

But the threat of new damage from the far-from-controlled fire complex still hung over the region. Firefighters scrambled Friday to dig fire lines and bulldoze debris to gain an advantage over the blazes before the gusts that fanned the flames reached expected speeds of up to 40 mph later in the day along the ridges.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office on Friday issued a mandatory evacuation north of Highway 128 from Geysers to Chalk Hill roads. Immigration officials suspended most enforcement in the Northern California fire areas, authorities said Friday, and Gov. Jerry Brown announced that the White House had agreed to send direct aid to those affected by the disaster.

Adding to Santa Rosa residents’ maelstrom of emotions was their shock that wildfire, which more commonly burns through ridges and valleys of oak brush, had swept into the neat suburban tracts miles away.

The once-placid Coffey Park neighborhood, where at least two people died, turned into a hellscape of ash and fallen timber, punctuated by the turquoise square of a swimming pool.

“We have always thought about earthquakes, and we are prepared for an earthquake,” said Luis Hernandez, a 10-year Coffey Park resident whose house was destroyed in the early morning hours Monday. “But we never thought about a fire. This caught us very off guard.”

Nearly everyone in Santa Rosa lost a home or knows someone who did — or worse. Thirty of one Santa Rosa synagogue’s 460 families found their houses destroyed, and a former president of the synagogue died, the rabbi said.

At a downtown motel where evacuees had taken refuge, David Joslyn ran into a young woman in sweatpants carrying a cat.

“My house burned down, so it’s kind of sad,” she said.

“Yeah,” she said, with a pained look on her face.

Joslyn’s own house on a ridge on Mark West Springs Road at the northern end of the city — “our extravagance” — is presumed gone, he said. Joslyn, a special-education teacher, and his wife, Sara, a psychologist, loved the private, remote feel of the house, with its 360-degree views of trees and its open living area, where their two sons did their homework and played while Joslyn cooked or did “dad stuff” in the office.


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