Firefighters battling the Cold Fire west of Winters boosted containment to 30 percent Friday, aided by cooler temperatures and minimal wind.
The fire did not grow during the day; the area burned remained at 4,700 acres, said Scott McLean, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
“With colder weather, you have higher humidity and moisture in the air,” McLean said. “It’s going to slow the fire down.”
Firefighting aircraft had to be grounded for a while Friday when a drone was spotted flying on the west side of the fire, he said. Drones, illegal in fire zones, can endanger firefighting aircraft.
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A portion of Highway 128 that had been closed since the fire started Tuesday afternoon was reopened with one lane of traffic at 1 p.m. Friday. Pilot vehicles were escorting motorists through the area 6 miles west of Winters, between mile post marker 2.49 and the Putah Creek Bridge near Lake Berryessa.
Firefighters first started battling the Cold Fire at 4:36 p.m. Tuesday. On Tuesday night, fire officials reported that the fire had burned 1,700 acres and had forced the evacuation of the Canyon Creek Campground and a residential neighborhood close to the fire. By Thursday morning, the evacuations were lifted.
As of Friday evening, approximately 1,600 personnel were assigned to the fire.
The cause of the Cold Fire is still under investigation. No injuries were reported.
A community meeting will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Winters Public Safety Facility, 700 Main St., Winters. Representatives of the various agencies assigned to the Cold Fire will be on hand to provide information, discuss the evacuation process and answer questions.