Glass Fire Frays Nerves, Blankets Valley in Smoke | Sonoma Ecology Center

Dear Friends,

We’re now on day five of the Glass Fire, which began in the early morning of Sunday, Sept. 27 and has since grown to more than 60,000 acres across Napa and Sonoma counties, jumping valleys and firebreaks, destroying hundreds of homes and businesses, and blanketing all of Sonoma Valley in thick, dangerous smoke for days on end.

About 2,500 firefighters have been working round-the-clock this week to get the fire under control. They’ve saved structures, and possibly lives—but due to ongoing red flag conditions the Glass Fire was still only 6 percent contained as of this morning. Fortunately, the hot, dry and windy conditions were expected to abate by Saturday morning, giving firefighters a better chance at containment.

As for us, we’ve been like most of you—watching the alerts, making emergency plans and being there for friends and family. On Thursday, staff from Sonoma Ecology Center and Robert Ferguson Observatory organized a team to retrieve some valuable items from Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. Escorted by Cal Fire personnel, the team entered the park for the first time since Sunday, and we’re glad to report that all main structures are still standing and that damage to the land is minimal, thanks to the incredibly precise and professional work of the fire crews.

Meanwhile, at Sonoma Garden Park, the Saturday morning Harvest Market is canceled due to poor air quality, along with all other events until the smoke clears. This week’s produce will be distributed to local food banks.

Please note that for everyone’s health and safety, all outdoor Sonoma Ecology Center events will be canceled whenever the air quality index (AQI) exceeds 150.

We cannot fully express our gratitude to the thousands of firefighters risking their lives throughout the state. The Glass Fire is just one of 23 major wildfires currently burning in California, where a record-shattering 4 million acres have burned so far this fire season. We’re equally grateful to you, our friends, neighbors and supporters, for being there in these trying times.