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California Wildfires in Lake, Napa County Derail Holiday Plans

Blazes across the parched U.S. West have kept hundreds of other homes under evacuation orders and derailed holiday plans.


A wind-fueled County Fire in Napa and Yolo County that continues to send a thick layer of smoke and ash south of San Francisco was threatening more than 1,300 buildings.

The massive blaze was choking skies with ash and smoke, prompting some officials to cancel Fourth of July fireworks shows and urge people to stay indoors to protect themselves from the unhealthy air.

At least 2,500 people have been told to evacuate as the so-called County Fire continues to spread, said Anthony Brown, a spokesman with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Brown said the blaze, which started Saturday and is surging through rugged terrain northwest of Sacramento, has grown to 134 square miles amid hot and dry weather expected throughout the day. It was 30 percent contained Thursday.

CAL Fire has ordered mandatory evacuations to residents:

  • Residences served by Highway 128, between Monticello Dam and Pleasants Valley Road
  • West of State Highway 16 to Berryessa Knoxville Road
  • South of Old County Road 40
  • North of County Road 53
  • West of State Highway 16 to the Yolo/Lake County line
  • North of County Road 40
  • South of Yolo County line


The Lake County fire that has prompted assistance from many Bay Area fire agencies is 92 percent contained as of Wednesday, according to Cal Fire.

The blaze, which started Saturday, had burned nearly 25 square miles, fire officials said.

The fire has destroyed 22 structures and one firefighter suffered an injury, according to Cal Fire.


Nearly 60 large, active blazes are burning across the West, including nine in New Mexico and six each in Utah and California, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

"The weather is better than what we had over the weekend. But it's still hampering our efforts and it's an area of concern," Brown said.

So far this year, wildfires have burned 4,200 square miles in the United States, according to the fire center. That's a bit below last year's acreage to date — which included the beginning of California's devastating fire season — but above the 10-year average of 3,600 square miles.

Because of the Independence Day holiday, authorities are also concerned about the possibility of campfires or fireworks starting new fires because of the dry, hot conditions.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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