Most evacuation orders lifted as Butts Fire slows

Evacuation orders have been lifted for most homes that were threatened by Butts Fire, CAL FIRE public information officer Daniel Berlant said Thursday.

The fire, which began Tuesday around noon, still spreads over 4,300 acres and is about 30 percent contained, Daniel Berlant said. Nearly 200 homes are still threatened. But most of the 500 residents of Berryessa Estates who have been under evacuation orders since Tuesday were allowed to return to their homes Thursday afternoon.

The fire is now mostly contained to remote areas where it can safely burn itself out over the next few days, Pope Valley fire chief Mike Damonte said. After working for two days and nights, he headed home Thursday to rest.

“The fire is going to probably burn for another two, three days,” Damonte said. “It’s within the fire lines. Why chase it in places where even the bulldozer has a hard time getting in there?”

Two homes and seven outbuildings were destroyed in the blaze.

Though he believes the worst has passed, Damonte thinks the fire’s impact will last. He said the Butts Fire is among the top three most severe fires he has seen in his 31-year career as a firefighter in the area. He hopes area residents will now view the threat of fire more seriously and take steps to protect their properties.

Damonte credited coordination between over 30 responding crews with getting the blaze under control.

“Everyone sent a truck to help us, which makes you feel good,” Damonte said.

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