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  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. /

    Cal Fire Captain Aaron Bishop calls in a helicopter water drop on the east side of the mountain during the Monticello Fire, Sunday, July 6, 2014 near Winters.

  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. /

    Cal Fire airlift an injured bulldozer operator from the Monticello Fire on the east side of the mountain Sunday July 6, 2014 near Winters.

  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. /

    Air tankers battle the Monticello Fire on the east side of the mountain Sunday July 6, 2014 near Winters.

  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. /

    Cal Fire battle the Monticello Fire Sunday July 6, 2014 near Winters.

Monticello fire 45 percent contained; separate blaze burns outbuilding in Nevada County

Published: Monday, Jul. 7, 2014 - 9:15 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jul. 8, 2014 - 10:33 am

Monday was another hectic day for wildland firefighters.

Although evacuations were lifted for residential areas and campgrounds that had been threatened by the Monticello fire, burning primarily in Yolo County, crews continued to battle the fire in more remote areas.

Late Monday afternoon, a new fire was reported in Nevada County. Dennis Mathisen, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said the fire had destroyed an outbuilding and a recreational vehicle. The fire had been reported at 4:34 p.m. at Hutto and Keller roads in the Smartsville area.

The blaze was reported about 40 percent contained at 30 acres early Monday evening. Mathisen said it was burning in an area of oak woodlands and grasslands and that the fire’s forward progress had been halted.

The Monticello fire, which started just after 9:30 p.m. Friday off Highway 128 at the Monticello Dam on the southeast side of Lake Berryessa, was 45 percent contained at 6,488 acres Monday evening. The evacuation order for Golden Bear Estates, a subdivision of about 40 homes, was lifted Sunday, and several campgrounds along Highway 128 reopened by Monday afternoon.

“It’s been more muggy, and the humidity was up slightly,” Mathisen said of Monday’s weather conditions, “but there are still extremely dry fuels out there.”

He said heavy brush at higher elevations made the firefighting particularly difficult. As of Monday evening, 1,789 personnel were assigned to the fire.

More encouraging was news of the Butts Canyon fire, which began July 1, burning in Lake and Napa counties. Mathisen said it was 95 percent contained Monday evening with 4,300 acres burned. He said the number of personnel assigned to the fire was down to 271 and that they were in the mopping-up stage.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Read more articles by Cathy Locke

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