SOLANO COUNTY -- For long hours Monday night, people who live on the Solano County side of the Atlas Fire watched as ominous billows of smoke, with a menacing orange glow, crept closer.
"The evacuation notice is still in effect here. We've go to make sure we've got a good handle and containment on the fire so it doesn't come up over the ridge," Cordelia Fire District Chief Keith Martin said.
The fire has already killed at least three people and destroyed buildings in Napa County.
"It was snowing ash on us last night," Breanna Allen, who lives in Solano County, told FOX40. "We were completely covered in it."
Allen had to get her young family out. They are waiting just on the other side of the mandatory evacuation barrier, waiting to hear whether the fire jumps the ridge and starts heading downhill toward Fairfield.
"We're literally living out of the car right now. There's nothing else we can do," she said.
The firefighters don't have many options either. Fire trucks and brush rigs have can't traverse the rugged terrain. The air attack is their best bet. Even if there was a better battle plan, there might not be anyone left to carry it out.
"At the morning briefing this morning they were talking about all the orders that were put in for strike teams," Martin said. "And they haven't been filled because there are so many fires going on in the state, they don't have the extra resources to send."
Around 6 p.m. Tuesday the Atlas fire crested the ridge at Twin Sisters Road in Solano County. The Solano Sheriff's Department has issued mandatory evacuation orders for Gordon Valley Road, Williams, Lambert and Clayton Road.