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Butts Fire In Napa County Burns 4,300 Acres

  Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

UPDATE 3 P.M.

Calfire officials said evacuations have been lifted along Butts Canyon Rd north to Snell Valley Rd. More info here.

7 A.M.

(AP) -- A wildfire in rural Northern California's Napa County damaged two homes and forced the evacuation of 200 people, is not posing a to the vineyards that are the region's claim to fame.

The fire in Pope Valley grew to 4,300 acres Thursday.

Many of evacuees live in a neighborhood called Berryessa Estates, and roughly three dozen are now staying at a shelter located at Middletown High School in Lake County.

Tina Marchetti, a Berryessa Estates resident, says she got the phone call to evacuate as she was returning home from work in Benicia.

"By the time I got to Napa, I could see the smoke," says Marchetti. "I tried to get there as fast as I could but the roads were already closed off. Luckily my neighbors were home and able to get my dogs out and meet me here in Middletown, so I’m really grateful for that, but I still have four cats that are in the house."

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant says the wildfire damaged nine structures including two homes and threatened about 400 more. There are roughly 800 firefighters, half-a-dozen helicopters, four air tankers and more than 130 fire engines fighting the flames.

Fire activity increased about noon Wednesday as temperatures again soared into the 90s and the blaze continued burning northeast into neighboring Lake County. The blaze is 30 percent contained.

Many of the evacuees and volunteers at the Middletown shelter say wildfire has always been a concern for the area.

"Wildfire is a huge issue that we deal with daily in a rural area," says Susan LaFaver, a Red Cross volunteer. "We have constant efforts to reduce fire fuel and minimize impact of wildfire in our area, but it is on our minds constantly." 

Elsewhere in California, firefighters were surrounding a blaze in Shasta-Trinity National Forest that forced the evacuation of about 15 homes. A forest spokeswoman said the fire has burned through 35 acres since it started Tuesday and was 70 percent contained.

Amy Quinton contributed to this report.

 calfirewildfireButts FireNapa CountyPope ValleyBerryessa EstatesMiddletown High SchoolLake County