Before the arrival of Europeans, the Santa Rosa Plain was home to a strong and populous tribe of Pomo natives known as the Bitakomtara.The Bitakomtara controlled the area closely, barring passage to others until permission was arranged.The fire was fueled by dry brush, native Oak trees, and homes as it climbed up and over the well established Mark West and Fountaingrove skyline that over looked the city of Santa Rosa.One exception to the destruction in that area was that all of the more than 1000 animals at the renowned Safari West Wildlife Preserve northeast of Santa Rosa were unharmed by the fire, saved by owner Peter Lang, who single-handedly fought back the flames for more than 10 hours using only garden hoses.
According to a 1905 article in the Press Democrat newspaper reporting on the "Battle of the Trains", the city had just over 10,000 people at the time.
Five percent of the city's homes were destroyed in the Tubbs Fire, a 45,000-acre wildfire that occurred in October 2017 and claimed the lives of at least 19 people in Sonoma County, making it the third deadliest wildfire in California state history..
In a matter of a couple hours the gusting North Eastern wind drove the fire into the city limits and across a six lane freeway into the middle-class neighborhood known as Coffey Park destroying thousands of homes in the early hours of the morning.
The Council expanded the city's urban boundary to include all the land then planned for future annexation, and declared it would be Santa Rosa's "ultimate" boundary.
The rapid growth that was being criticized as urban sprawl became routine infill development.