The lights are on in Calistoga, but no one is home. The destructive Tubbs Fire placed a mandatory evacuation, leaving the town vacant. Streets and businesses are empty. The only vehicles you see are the first responders who stayed behind.
“It's surreal. It’s eerie,” said Chris Canning, the mayor of Calistoga. “It's calm now and it's giving Cal Fire an opportunity to really bang it down.”
Canning stayed behind with the first responders. He said the fire is about five miles north. Any strong winds could bring embers to the businesses and homes. They want to make sure the town survives.
“5,200 of our residents are scattered around,” he said. “They are anxious. They want to be home and we want them to be home, but we can't bring them home if it's not going to be safe. And especially seeing the level and speed of destruction that went through Santa Rosa which is just over there. We just couldn't do that.”
Twelve people chose not to evacuate. Canning personally talked to all of them and said you're on your own.
As the ABC10 crew was about to leave, we noticed five men walking down the street. They said they were brought from Santa Rosa to work at a vineyard and the man who brought them left them during evacuations.
Canning and one of his council members came over to talk to them.
“We’re going to take you to get some food and water,” said Canning. "And [we'll] wait for the shuttle to take you down towards Napa.”