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Yolo County Fire Grows, But So Does Control Over Flames

Cal Fire / Courtesy

The County Fire has burned more than 80,000 acres in Yolo and Napa counties.

Cal Fire / Courtesy

UPDATE 6:36 a.m., Friday, July 6

The County Fire in Napa and Yolo counties reached 88,375 acres and 37 percent containment last night. 

There are 110 structures in danger and nine have been destroyed as of 7 p.m. last night.

Evacuations remain in place throughout Napa and Yolo Counties. The latest information on evacuations and evacuation centers for Yolo County can be found hereNapa County residents can text their zip code to 888-777 for evacuation updates.

UPDATE 1:17 p.m., Thursday, July 5

The Yolo County Sheriff's Office has ordered an additional evacuation order and road closure due to the County Fire. 

The fire has been burning since Saturday and is 30 percent contained at 86,000 acres.

The latest info on evacuations and evacuation centers for Yolo County can be found here.

UPDATE 7:24 a.m., Thursday, July 5

Crews continue to make headway on the County Fire in Yolo and Napa counties after the fire jumped to 30 percent contained overnight while staying at 86,000 acres burned.

No structures have burned so far in the County Fire, but 990 remain in danger. 

Last night's increased humidity did little to slow the fire, according to Cal Fire, and the coming hot, dry weather this weekend is a concern as it may cause the fire to grow.

UPDATE 6:46 a.m., Thursday, July 5

Fire crews made more progress fighting the County Fire in Yolo and Napa counties on Wednesday, bumping the containment up to 27 percent.

While containment increased, the fire's acreage grew as well and now sits at 86,000 acres.

Some of the evacuations in the fire area have been lifted. Residents living east of the Napa/Yolo county line to State Highway 16 and south of County Road 53 to State Highway 128 area free to go home.

 

UPDATE 11:41 a.m., Wednesday, July 4

(AP) — Crews are making progress against the County Fire in Yolo and Napa counties that threatens hundreds of buildings, but say wind and dry vegetation could still fuel the blaze.

California officials said the fire northwest of Sacramento was 25 percent contained as of Wednesday morning. That's up from 15 percent the previous day.

It has burned through 129 square miles, or 82,700 acres, after igniting Saturday. Some areas have been under evacuation orders for days. (The latest info on evacuations and evacuation centers for Yolo County can be found here.)

It's among the massive wildfires burning in the Western United States and putting some Fourth of July plans on hold.

Crews are hoping to take advantage of cooler weather to tackle the flames.

Fire spokesman Israel Pinzon says Wednesday is expected to be the coolest day of the week, with temperatures 10 to 15 degrees lower than the triple digits that firefighters have faced.

Roughly 2,500 people had been forced from their homes. Pinzon says officials lifted some mandatory evacuations Tuesday night, though he didn't know how many people were allowed to return home.

No structures have been damaged or destroyed, but 1,400 are threatened.

UPDATE 1:01 p.m. Tuesday, July 3

All evacuation orders related to the Pawnee Fire in Lake County have been lifted as of noon Tuesday.

The fire has burned 14,900 acres and is 80 percent contained.

UPDATE 6:54 a.m. Tuesday, July 3

The County Fire burning in rural Yolo, Lake and Napa counties continued to grow overnight, reaching 70,000 acres by early Tuesday morning.

Though no homes or buildings have burned, Cal Fire estimates nearly a thousand are threatened.

Cal Fire reports that the potential for growth in the fire remains high, especially through the hot July 4 holiday. The fire is currently 5 percent contained.

The latest info on evacuations and evacuation centers for Yolo County can be found here.

Evacuations also remain in effect for the Pawnee Fire in Lake County, which is 14,900 acres and 80 percent contained.

UPDATE 10:06 p.m. Monday, July 2

As of 6:54 pm, the County Fire had grown to 60,000 acres, with Cal Fire reporting 5 percent containment.

The latest info on evacuations and evacuation centers for Yolo County can be found here.

UPDATE 4:35 p.m. Monday, July 2

As of 3:10 p.m. Cal Fire had no new details on County Fire, with the blaze holding at 44,500 acres and 3 percent contained.

In Lake County, the Pawnee Fire has burned 22 structures and 14,700 acres. It is 75 percent contained.

Cal Fire Deputy Chief Scott McLean says the agency is worried about an expected return of 100 degree temperatures by the end of the week and Fourth of July fireworks in the middle of it.

Meanwhile, a change in wind conditions have brought smoke from the fires into the Sacramento Valley. The National Weather Service cautions that smokey conditions will continue into Tuesday morning.

UPDATE: 8:30 a.m. Monday, July 2

The County Fire reached 44,500 acres Monday morning with 3 percent containment, according to Cal Fire. The fire started on Saturday afternoon and now spans areas of Yolo, Lake and Napa Counties.

Mandatory evacuations are still in effect for residences off of Highway 128 between Monticello Dam and Pleasant Valley Road, east of Berryessa Knoxville Road and south of County Road 23. Additional evacuations have been mandated for residents living north of Highway 128 in Yolo County, not including residents of the city of Winters.

The latest info on evacuations and evacuation centers for Yolo County can be found here.

UPDATE: 9 p.m. Sunday, July 1

The County Fire continues to grow, reaching 32,500 acres Sunday evening. The fire started Saturday afternoon at County Road 63 and Highway 16 in Rumsey Canyon near the town of Guinda.

Mandatory evacuations are in effect for anyone who lives off of Highway 128 between Monticello Dam and Pleasant Valley Road as well as people south of County Road 23, and east of Berryessa Knoxville Road. The latest info on evacuations and evacuation centers for Yolo County can be found here.

Cal Fire says the fire is just 2 percent contained.

The National Weather Service says temperatures should be about five degrees cooler overnight and high temperatures will also be significantly cooler beginning on Tuesday. 

The Pawnee Fire is burning about 40 miles away and has not increased in acreage in the last 24 hours. It is 73-percent contained.

UPDATE: 3:45 p.m. Sunday, July 1

Cal Fire says the County Fire near the town of Guinda is now threatening some homes north of Highway 128 in Yolo County, but is not threatening residences within the city of Winters.

The fire started yesterday at about two in the afternoon. Cal Fire says 110 fire engines, 12 helicopters and 18 bulldozers are now working to establish containment. A full day after it started there is still zero-percent containment.

Other evacuation orders include south of County Road 23, east of Berryessa Knoxville Road, and west of County Road 89, although  agricultural industry traffic will be allowed.

Advisories have been issued for north of Quail Canyon Road, south of Highway 128 east of the Blue Ridge mountains, and west of Pleasant Valley Road.

The fire started in Yolo county and anyone with questions regarding evacuations or advisories should dial 2-1-1.

Yolo County had opened an evacuation center in Winters, but promptly closed it. The county says its evacuation center is at the Boy Scout Cabin at 16960 Yolo avenue in Esparto. The latest info on evacuations and evacuation centers for Yolo County can be found here.

People with questions regarding Solano County evacuations or advisories should dial (707) 398-8261.

UPDATE: 9:30 a.m. Sunday, July 1

The County Fire in Yolo County has double in size again and continues to burn out of control.

Overnight, the fire to 16,500 acres from 8,000 acres Saturday afternoon.

In response, Cal Fire has tripled its response to 110 engines as of 7 a.m. Sunday morning.

Cal Fire Deputy Chief Scott McLean says approximately 30 homes have been evacuated.

In Lake County, about the same number of homes have been evacuated as the Pawnee Fire has reached 14,150 acres. The fire jumped a containment line Saturday, and caused some people to evacuate, but burned only about 100 acres. The latest Cal Fire update says those evacuations remain in place. The fire is 73-percent contained.

 

UPDATE 9 p.m. Saturday June 30.

Cal Fire says 8,000 acres have been burned in Yolo County as the result of a wildland fire that began a little after 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Formerly called the Guinda fire, the County Fire is burning in a somewhat rural area.

Cal Fire Deputy Chief Scott McLean said the area burns, “every couple of years or so (in) grass and heavy, thick brush. There’s no road infrastructure to get in there, which makes things tough.” 

As of 5:30 p.m, 38 fire engines were fighting the fire from the ground and two DC-10 fixed-wing aircraft with the capacity to drop thousands of gallons of retardant were dispatched to the fire. 

The fire started at County Road 63 and Highway 16 in Rumsey Canyon.

There are mandatory evacuations for County Rd. 63 to County Rd 76 west of Highway 16 and the Murphy Ranch area.

McLean says firefighters who had been released from the Pawnee Fire in Lake County were routed directly to Yolo County. At least 1,000 people were on the County Fire as of 8 p.m Saturday.

An evacuation center has been established at Rumsey Grange Hall.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

In Lake County, the Pawnee Fire jumped a containment line Saturday afternoon, which caused more people to leave their homes under mandatory evacuation orders.

The fire was listed by Cal Fire as 73 percent contained, but high winds and 100-degree temperatures helped spark a flare up that threatened the community of Double Eagle and prompted mandatory evacuation orders at 4:30 Saturday afternoon.

There are road closures along Highway 20. Mule Skinner, Walker Ridge, Highway 16 and Highway 53 were all closed at Highway 20. An evacuation advisory is in place for the area south of Highway 20 to Morgan Valley Rd. and from Sky High Ridge Rd. to the Lake County line.

Deputy Chief McLean said the acreage of the new burn was minimal, but is a reminder of how serious the conditions are.

“It jumped a line, burned 100 acres," McLean said. "That’s a 73-percent-contained fire. That shows you things are still very volatile.” 

The American Red Cross is operating an evacuation center for people who have been affected by the Pawnee Fire at Lake High School in Lower Lake.

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