Fire Crews Working Quickly to Contain 82,700-Acre Wildfire

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YOLO COUNTY -- With every acre of golden grass that goes up in smoke, the County Fire proves how vulnerable California is to wildfires.

The west end of the 82,700-acre fire spent Monday afternoon creeping down to the east shore of Lake Berryessa. Wednesday morning, the fire was 25 percent contained.

Several evacuated homes and ranches are situated in between the flames and the lake shore. Firefighters are working to protect the properties with engines on the ground and helicopters dropping water scooped up from the easily accessible lake.

Bulldozers have cut containment lines to try and stop the fire from spreading.

But north of Lake Berryessa, the well-paved Knoxville Road is serving as a containment line. FOX40 saw dozens of firefighters making sure the flames don't jump Knoxville Road and make a run to the west.

For most of Monday, the wind was blowing from the west, but a shift in the evening sent a cloud of smoke descending on Lake Berryessa.

Typically, fire tends to lay down as humidity rises at night. But just after sunset flames were just as furious as anything seen in the heat of the afternoon.

The Knoxville Wildlife Area and Berryessa Peak Trail have been especially hard hit. But because of how sparsely populated the area is, and how diligently fire crews are working to protect homes, there have been no reports of any structures lost to the County Fire. At least 700 buildings are being threatened.

While thousands of firefighters work around the clock, as Fourth of July barbecues and fireworks are about to light up, Cal Fire is calling on everyone to be fire preventers as the state only gets drier in the coming months.

"So this is what's being described as the new normal in California. After five years of a profound drought, all of the live vegetation you see has very, very low fuel moisture," said Cal Fire Capt. Jordan Motta. "So what that means is everything is so dry, just tinder dry, we're seeing fuel moistures, that's the moisture content within the live shrubbery and grasses, that are where they should be September, October, very late summer. And it's only the first week of July now."

For a list of evacuations and live updates click here.


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