SOLANO COUNTY — A fire broke out on a mountainside in Solano County Friday afternoon and while crews were able to put out the flames, they fear this is just the beginning of what could be a very dangerous weekend.
That’s why Pacific Gas and Electric is being proactive and warning tens of thousands of customers that their power could be turned off to reduce the risk of wildfires.
“You could see the flames jumping up and the sheriff said it was moving toward our side of the mountain because of the wind,” said Renee Chaney.
There were some scary moments for dozens of people in Solano County who received mandatory orders to evacuate their homes Friday afternoon after a four-alarm vegetation fire broke out suddenly along Cordelia Road in Fairfield.
Chaney says it didn’t take long for the fire to spread.
When she left for the store with her children, the sky was clear.
But as she returned to Thomasson Lane an hour later, flames could be seen shooting through the mountain behind her home.
“We saw the smoke barreling out at Costco, and my son said, ‘I think my house is on fire’ or somewhere near our house,” Chaney said.
The Chaneys and around 50 other families were instructed to leave the area immediately as multiple fire crews worked to contain the blaze.
“I panicked. I thought to myself I had to get my family photos, I had to get our sentimental items, my birth certificates, our dog,” Chaney said.
The dry vegetation combined with strong winds has emergency crews preparing for a weekend of high fire danger.
“Conditions deteriorated rapidly starting yesterday and today we started letting customers know that there is a better chance that we will call a public safety public shut off,” said PG&E spokesperson Brandi Merlo.
PG&E says customers in Solano, Yolo, Napa, Butte, Yuba, Nevada, Placer and El Dorado counties should brace for potential power outages — as utility workers de-energize transmission lines in high-risk areas.
“All of our preparations are around reducing the risk of wildfires and keeping our customers and the communities we serve safe,” Merlo said.
And as the Chaneys settle in for the night — they are making emergency plans of their own so if danger strike, they’re prepared.
“Everything is now in a pile and I’m ready to load it up if I have to,” Chaney said.
Thousands of customers in the North Bay area could lose power as early as 6 a.m. tomorrow with the peak period of fire risk lasting until 1 p.m.