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Huge Northern California wildfire prompts evacuations [Updated]

Second Lake County blaze has spread over more than 30,000 acres

Flames rise around an outbuilding as the County fire burns in Guinda, California, Sunday July 1. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Photo by AP Photo/Noah Berger

Update: On Tuesday morning, Cal Fire reported that the County Fire continues to rage out of control, now measured at approximately 60,000 acres and only five percent contained after over 60 hours of firefighting efforts.

There are still no reports of injuries or structure damage. A Monday night press release prepped residents for potential additional evacuation:

Residents of Berryessa Highlands, Markley Cove Resort and Pleasure Cove Resort should be prepared to evacuate if fire conditions worsen and the Napa County Sheriff’s Office, in consultation with fire incident commanders, determine the evacuation order is necessary.

[...] Residents who elect to evacuate voluntarily should utilize State Highway 128, West or Monticello Road, South in their travel route. Residents are asked not to utilize State Highway 128, East. There is no access into Solano or Yolo Counties via State Highway 128.


As fire crews labor to contain the week-old Pawnee Fire in Lake County (which as of Monday morning, Cal Fire reports is some 73 percent contained at a size of 14,500 acres), a second, even larger and more frightening burn began Saturday afternoon and quickly consumed more than 32,500 acres across Lake County, Napa County, and Yolo County.

The red flag warning issued by the National Weather Service for the North Bay over the weekend anticipated dry conditions and erratic winds.

Despite precautions, the enormous County Fire started around 2 p.m. Saturday in an area around the Rumsey Canyon area.

According to Cal Fire—which reports only two percent containment on Monday morning, despite the work of over 1,220 fire personnel on the scene—mandatory evacuation orders for the following areas:

  • Residences served by Highway 128, between Monticello Dam and Pleasant Valley Road.
  • North of Highway 128.
  • South of County Road 23.
  • East of Berryessa Knoxville Road.
  • Residences served by Highway 128, between Monticello Dam and Pleasant Valley Road.

Cal Fire has also issued evacuation advisories for the following areas:

  • North of Quail Canyon Road.
  • South of Highway 128.
  • East of the Blue Ridge mountains.
  • West of Pleasant Valley Road.
The evac center in Guinda.
Google

Remember that evacuation orders are mandatory, and failure to heed them is a crime in California.

Even if the fire doesn’t appear to threaten your property, residents should immediately report to the evacuation center, the Guinda Grange Hall (6487 Forest Avenue) in Guinda.

Note that evacuation orders are still in effect for the nearby Pawnee Fire in Lake County in the Double Eagle area.

Although the weekend red-flag warning has expired, the National Weather Service forecasts very high temperatures across Northern California on Monday, reaching 94 degrees in nearby Sacramento.

Santa Rosa (also relatively near both fires), on the other hand, faces cooler prospects with a predicted high of 77.

In addition to hot and dry conditions, Cal Fire notes that “shifting winds have created numerous active portions of the fire that have the potential to increase fire spread” around both burns.

Over the weekend, smoke from the County Fire drifted south over the Bay Area, creating eerie conditions.

But the skies have since cleared up, and the Environmental Protection Agencies forecasts pristine air quality around San Francisco Monday.