Napa County

Firefighters Battle 2 Wildfires in Napa County

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Firefighters on Tuesday continued battling two wildfires that together have burned at least 7,700 acres in Napa County, according to Cal Fire.

The Hennessey Fire in central Napa County has grown to about 2,700 acres since it was first reported at 6:40 a.m., Cal Fire said.

"There are some structures threatened in the area," said CalFire spokesman Will Powers.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered in the heavily wooded area, covering Sage Canyon Road from Chiles Pope Valley Road to Lower Chiles Road, Highway 128 at Silverado Trail to Chiles Pope Valley Road, including Pritchard Hill, and Highway 128 at Lower Chiles Valley Road to Turtle Rock.

Powers said he didn't know how many homes were in the affected area, nor whether the fire was started by a lightning strike.

“With the hot dry conditions that we’ve been having, coupled with this weather that does not come in often in the area, with all the lightning strikes, it can be very hazardous for fire conditions,” said Powers.

The fire started in the 60 block of Hennessey Ridge Road, east of St. Helena, and was zero percent contained, Powers said at 2 p.m.

More than 200 buildings are threatened, including the ones on the grounds of the Nichelini Winery. 

“It looped around the canyon so that’s where the smoke is up there, so it’s kind of at our perimeter,” said Bill Narlock from the winery.

They’ve been making wine there since their grandfather founded the operation in 1890.

“It’s important for us to protect the house that he built and the winery that he built- you can’t really replace that.”

The other fire, named the Gamble Fire, is burning off of Berryessa Knoxville Road, west of Brooks, Cal Fire said. It has charred at least 5,000 acres.

No evacuations were ordered in the area of the Gamble Fire, which was zero percent contained at 1 p.m., according to Cal Fire.

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