The Monticello fire in western Yolo County increased to 5,000 acres Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
The fire was 15 percent contained Saturday afternoon, officials said, down from 25 percent containment earlier in the day. Several hundred firefighters are taming the flames, and 50 rural homes in Yolo County have been evacuated.
The fire started just after 9:30 p.m. Friday off Highway 128 at the Monticello dam on the southeast shore of Lake Berryessa, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The flames are five miles west of Winters.
Firefighters are facing an uphill battle, as dry brush, winds and high temperatures feed the flames. The fire is primarily located in Yolo County, but also stretches into Napa and Solano Counties.
“There’s a lot of potential for this fire to grow,” said Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant. “There’s still a lot of dead grass and a lot of dead trees. With the drought conditions, it takes a lot of work ... to slow down a fire.”
A stretch of Highway 128 has been closed from Canyon Creek Campground at Lake Berryesa to Pleasants Valley Road.
Berlant said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Call The Bee’s Richard Chang at (916) 321-1018. Follow him on Twitter @RichardYChang.