Gabe Meline in a dust mask walks through the haze of smoke after evacuation. Bay Area air quality this week has been the worst on record. (Gabe Meline/KQED Arts)

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Early Monday morning, KQED Arts’ Gabe Meline awoke to a glimmer of fire over the ridgeline of his hometown in Santa Rosa.  Within a few short hours, it was evident the fire had taken a turn toward the extreme.

“This fire is unlike anything Santa Rosa has ever seen. We evacuated at 6 am to drive through thick smoke to a house in Petaluma, spent the day there with three other families.”

Take a look at a first-hand glimpse into the surreal situation unfolding here in Northern California.

Monday at dawn, Gabe Meline’s family evacuated their Santa Rosa home. (Gabe Meline/KQED Arts)
A sign tipped over along Hwy. 101 offers a glimpse into the chaos. (Liz Seward)

 

Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa. (Gabe Meline/KQED Arts) (Gabe Meline)
Ash on a car near Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa.
The fairgrounds outside of Santa Rosa provided shelter for many evacuees. (Gabe Meline/KQED Arts)
Water was quick to fly off the shelves during the first hours after thousands were evacuated from their homes. (Gabe Meline/KQED Arts)
Gathering supplies at the Rohnert Park Walmart after evacuation. (Gabe Meline/KQED Arts)
The entrance to the fairgrounds evacuation center on day two of the fires. (Gabe Meline/KQED Arts)
Gabe’s family arrives at the fairgrounds evacuation center with emergency supplies. (Gabe Meline/KQED Arts)
Producer Mike DeWald behind the board at KSRO 1350, which has been a lifeline of information to the region. (Gabe Meline/KQED Arts)
Gabe Meline in a dust mask at the Veterans Memorial Building evacuation center. Bay Area air quality this week has been the worst on record. (Gabe Meline/KQED Arts)
Menu for free food posted at the Mystic Theatre in Petaluma. (Gabe Meline/KQED Arts)
“Cash Only” is a common sign since many credit card readers are down. (Gabe Meline/KQED Arts)
Sunrise over Stony Point Road on Oct. 9, the morning after the fires struck. (Gabe Meline/KQED Arts)

KQED’s Gabe Meline, Carly Severn and Lina Blanco contributed to the post.

PHOTO DIARY: Life in the Path of a Wildfire 9 November,2017KQED Arts