Just hours after completing its hosting duties for the Safeway Open tournament on October 8, the Napa, Calif., property evacuated guests and staff as a wildfire blew through hole No. 5 and ultimately “caused significant damage” to the property. The extent of the damage has not yet been determined.
Jeff Sanders, Tournament Director of the Safeway Open at Silverado Resort in Napa, Calif., was getting ready to go to sleep at the property at about 11 p.m. on October 8 after a busy week culminating with the final round of the PGA Tour event just hours earlier. Sanders smelled the smoke from a Napa wildfire charging down the hillside above the 5th hole, near his room. He and other tournament officials abruptly evacuated, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“We got out of there, thank God,” Sanders said on October 9. “It was quick. It happened fast. The wind was blowing 40 mph, blowing the fire down the top of the hill on No. 5. It didn’t take long for the embers to cause problems.
“We all left our stuff, ran for our cars and got the hell out of there,” Sanders said.
The fire caused significant damage at Silverado, including to several condominiums on the east side of the resort, according to vice president of marketing Julie Maurer. Some homes across Atlas Peak Road from the resort had burned. All guests and staff were safely evacuated Sunday night, according to Maurer. The resort was closed Monday, the Chronicle reported.
Maurer was unsure about the extent of damage to Silverado’s golf courses, but a Getty Images photo showed a greenside hospitality structure engulfed in flames. Sanders said the skybox near the No. 17 green had burned down. That hole is located more than 500 yards from the 5th hole, which sits on the eastern edge of the North Course, near where the wind-whipped fire roared down, the Chronicle reported.
“You could see orange flames coming down the hillside,” Sanders said. “Luckily, nobody got hurt. had never been involved in a fire like that in my life. When the fire comes at you, man, it’s quick. I’m just glad we smelled the smoke.”
Several PGA Tour pros were among the Silverado guests evacuated Sunday night. Stanford alum Maverick McNealy, who made his professional debut in the tournament, posted a tweet shortly after midnight, saying he was awakened by Napa firefighters and evacuated the resort, the Chronicle reported.
“First responders and emergency personnel are amazing,” McNealy tweeted.