February 21, 2019

Wildfires Spark Evacuations In Northern California

03 July 2018, 06:43 | Devin Moran

Smoke from Yolo fire blankets north, central Solano

Smoke from Sugarloaf Fire burning in Grand County drifting into Boulder County

On Sunday, it reached 32,500 acres and crossed over into Napa County.

The hot, windy conditions fueling the fire and others across the west were expected to persist through the end of July in Utah and parts of California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, US fire officials said.

"It's going to be headed into some populated areas of small communities in the near future if it is not curtailed", Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean said in an interview.

She reported the department has two brush units, 10 firefighters, one water tender and a battalion chief at work. CalFire first reported a vegetation blaze at 2:12 p.m., which grew quickly over the next six hours, driven by "red-flag weather conditions consisting of high temperatures, gusty winds and low humidity". The Pawnee Fire has burned 14,500 acres and destroyed 22 structures. Additional fire teams were also en route, Cal Fire reports.

Lauderbale says about 300 people are under mandatory evacuation orders and more than 100 buildings are under threat in the area that's home to cattle and horse ranches. Evacuations exclude the city of Winters. The agency's Facebook page states, "SR 20 has been closed from the junction of SR 53 in Lake County to SR 16 in Colusa County".

South from Highway 128 remains open to serve traffic into Solano County.

The Pawnee Fire in Lake County has slowed its advance but it spotted over Hwy 20 to the south keeping that major east-west route shut down. It is 37 percent contained, according to state data.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office has issued new evacuation warnings and advisories in connection with the blaze that began June 23.

The wildfires have given the San Francisco skyline an orange-brown haze. Containment is still at 73% and fire managers hope to have it suppressed by July 5th.

In comparison, a deadly wildfire that destroyed whole neighbourhoods in Sonoma County a year ago burned 57 square miles (147 square kilometres). Scott McLean, deputy chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told the San Francisco Chronicle that windblown embers are making containment more hard.

This item has been corrected to say that more than 2,000 homes have been evacuated by the fire.

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