YOLO COUNTY — People living in Rumsey were on edge after the brush fire that started in the Sand Creek area of Guinda Saturday afternoon spread rapidly through 2,220 acres of rural Yolo County.
“We saw the plume of smoke immediately and we knew we were in trouble,” said Yolo County resident Alan Taylor. “I was a little frantic. If a fire rips through here, you just lose everything, there would be nothing left.”
Emergency crews issued mandatory evacuation orders for parts of the county, which included Taylor, who lives along Highway 16 in Rumsey.
“My house burned down when I was in high school, so it was just a big flashback. I mean, I lost everything,” he said.
Taylor and his family packed an emergency bag with their essentials but, ultimately, decided not to leave.
Dozens of fire crews across multiple agencies worked around the clock to put out the flames of the Sand Fire as they were fueled by high winds and dry vegetation.
“We had very extreme, challenging conditions in this type of country with the north winds that were predicted and continued throughout most of today,” said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Aaron Latta.
Crews also battled steep terrain with minimal roadways. Helicopters and airplanes assisted in the fire fight, dropping water and fire retardant on the hard-to-reach areas.
“It’s historically difficult to gain access to to get a good, strong, solid foothold in that to where we could turn the corner,” Latta told FOX40. “So, the crews have been engaged. They’ve been actively getting on the fire’s edge and going direct as possible and punchin’ line for as long as they can.”
Despite the challenges, crews said they were beginning to make progress. By Monday morning, the fire was 30% contained and a Red Flag Warning for Yolo County and other parts of Northern California had expired.
No homes have been affected but Cal Fire did confirm that six outbuildings and a barn have been destroyed.
“It’s just awful. I’m not really concerned with it right now. This is nothing,” Taylor said.