Fast-moving wildfires in Northern California — some fourteen in all — destroyed more than 1,500 homes and businesses and some 60,000 acres of land and threatened countless during the weekend, forcing evacuations in eight counties: Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino, Yuba, Nevada, Calaveras and Butte. Sonoma County, in particular, has fallen under an emergency proclamation from Gov. Jerry Brown, as critical infrastructure has been damaged and thousands of homes threatened.
Sonoma County, of course, is home to the Sonoma Raceway, site of the NHRA Sonoma Nationals and the road course that plays host to NASCAR, IndyCar, and other racing series. Sonoma Raceway staff today distributed images illustrating the proximity of the wildfire — which is being accelerated by wind gusts of more than 50 mph and even as high as hurricane-force 74 mph winds — with scorched earth and flames encroaching on the hillsides around the property.
Despite the alarming presence of the fire right on the raceway’s doorstep, Sonoma Raceway President and General Manager Steve Page is confident the track and its structures are not in any imminent danger.
“All of us at Sonoma Raceway extend our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to those who have been touched by the devastating North Bay fires. Our facilities team and a number of local fire companies have been battling grassland fires on Cougar Mountain and elsewhere around our property, and at this point it does not appear any of the raceway’s structures or other facilities are at immediate risk. We appreciate all of the good wishes that have flooded in from friends around the state and country,” says Page.
The Sonoma Raceway will be issuing further updates on the fire, and we will update this story as information becomes available.