As helicopters attack Sand Fire, resident comments on evacuation
Gusty winds and dry air have made for trying fire conditions this weekend as blazes pop up across Northern California.
The Sand Fire is the largest; the vegetation fire in western Yolo County grew to 2,200 acres by Sunday afternoon and was at 20 percent containment, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire protection. The fire, on County Road 41 and Highway 16 near Rumsey, started around 2:50 p.m. Saturday, according to Cal Fire.
Strong north winds have fanned the flames and mandatory evacuations are being put into place along Highway 16 where structures are being threatened, said Will Power, spokesman for Cal Fire’s Sonoma-Lake-Napa unit. Caltrans also closed Highway 16 from Highway 20 to Brooks because of the blaze.
An evacuation center has been set up in Esparto at the Boy Scouts Cabin, 16980 Yolo Ave.
The cause of the fire is unknown. The blaze is several miles north of the areas where PG&E had earlier shut off power to more than 1,700 residents in Yolo, Solano and Napa counties because of the potential for fire danger. That shutoff, which ended around 4 p.m. Saturday, is separate from another power-down that PG&E said affected 20,000 residents in parts of the Sierra foothills Saturday night beginning at 9 p.m.
PG&E begun restoring power to customers in parts of Yuba and Butte counties early Sunday, according to a press release from PG&E, and by the evening, power was back on for nearly all PG&E’s customers in Yuba and Butte counties.
Here’s a rundown of other notable fires, last updated at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, in the Sacramento Valley and Northern California:
West Butte Fire, Sutter County
Also known as the Sutter North Fire, this blaze is near North Butte and West Butte roads, north of the Sutter Buttes, and was 1,000 acres with 60 percent containment as of Sunday morning, according to the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office. No structures are at risk, and there have been no injuries, the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office reported.
Approximately 140 personnel are at the scene, according to Brenna Howell, Emergency Operations Manager for Sutter County. She said they’re hoping to get a good handle on the fire by Sunday night.
Malech Fire, Santa Clara County
A 210-acre fire at Malech and Bailey roads in South San Jose started Sunday afternoon, according to Cal Fire. It was at 50 percent containment as of Sunday evening.
Ink Fire, Napa County
Forward progress was stopped on the fire in Napa County along Pope Valley Road, near Calistoga. The Ink Fire started around 2:30 p.m. Saturday and reached 50 acres before fire crews were able to stop its spread. It was 85 percent contained as of Sunday morning, according to Cal Fire.
Stuhr Fire, Stanislaus County
A 600-acre grass fire that started in Stanislaus County on Friday was 75 percent contained by Saturday morning, according to Cal Fire. Firefighters stopped the forward progress of the fire overnight, Cal Fire said around 8 a.m. Saturday. The blaze is 4 miles southwest of Newman, close to Interstate 5 and Pete Miller Road, according to Cal Fire. There were no updates as of Sunday morning.