Print this page
Wednesday, 07 March 2018 15:04

'My World Was Burning': The North Bay Fires and What Went Wrong

Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann wasn’t scheduled to work until Monday morning, but he decided to head in Sunday, Oct. 8, just in case.

He knew that conditions in Napa’s wine country, known for its Mediterranean climate and valleys of vineyards, were ripe for a fire: There was a high wind advisory, it was an unusually warm day, and there was plenty of dried-out brush and grass that late in the year.

By the time Biermann got into work, many of his fire crews were already tied up at small blazes. So when a call came in just before 10 p.m. reporting a fire in a neighborhood above the Silverado Country Club, Biermann decided to head up to Atlas Peak.