Wildfires surge in Northern California over dry, dangerous weekend

87563 full
87563 full

A series of wildfires in Northern California and Nevada have threatened neighborhoods and burned several homes, fire officials said. 

The Monticello Fire in Yolo County forced the evacuations of a neighborhood of about 40 homes and burned about 7,000 acres as of Sunday. The fire grazed the a number of homes in the Golden Bear Estates neighborhood Saturday, Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said, before being turned back by firefighters.

"Yesterday the fire was able to burn right up to the subdivision where these homes are located. We took a stand against the fire and were able to push back the blaze," Berlant said.

Still, evacuations remain in effect, as high temperatures and winds could mean the fire quickly changes direction.

"Unfortunately, the weather continues to fan the fire in several different directions, so there is concern that even though right now we do have real good handle on the fire around those homes, if the wind does shift and the fire comes back around it could again threaten these homes. So right now the evacuations to remain in effect."

Firetracker: Monticello Fire

Berlant said Sunday would be another challenging day for firefighters, as it's expected to be much warmer than it has been for the past week and the fire is burning in a an area that is steep, rugged and dry.

The Butts Fire, burning 20 miles north of Napa Valley, is largely contained Sunday. Evacuations for areas near the fire have been lifted, though two homes were destroyed earlier in the week. Four people were injured, according to Cal Fire's website. At least three were minor injuries suffered by firefighters, Berlant said. 

Firetracker: Butts Fire

As of Sunday, three other fires were burning in remote areas of Northern California, and another just across the border in Nevada. The Cassel, Gulch, Modoc Lightning and Colman Fires had scorched more than 17,000 acres of remote wilderness and grazing areas between them. No homes are currently threatened. 

"Right now with conditions being so dry it is so critical that everyone across California be extra careful, extra cautious outdoors," Berlant said. "It doesn't take much to spark a fire. And as we've seen this week with the fires up and down the state, a fire once ignited is going to burn very quickly."

blog comments powered by Disqus