[LA FEATURE]California Wildfires

LA FEATURE

Coverage of brush fires across the state

Wildfire Scorches 4,300 Acres of California Wine Country

By NBC Bay Area Staff
|  Saturday, Jul 5, 2014  |  Updated 12:34 PM PDT
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The stubborn wildfire in rural Napa County damaged two homes and forced the evacuation of those living in 200 others, but so far is not posing a threat to its world famous vineyards. Mark Matthews reports.

The stubborn wildfire in rural Napa County damaged two homes and forced the evacuation of those living in 200 others, but so far is not posing a threat to its world famous vineyards. Mark Matthews reports.

Photos and Videos

Local Firefighters Respond to Wildfire

Bay Area firefighters are on their way to Napa County to help battle an out-of-control wildfire. Kris Sanchez reports.
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A 4,300-acre vegetation fire in Napa County is 70 percent contained as of Saturday morning as firefighters continue to make progress despite difficult conditions, Cal Fire officials said.

Evacuations orders were lifted and the evacuation shelter at Middletown High School closed at 5 p.m. Thursday, according to Battalion Chief Chris Christopherson. Butts Canyon Road has also reopened from James Creek Road to Snell Valley Road.

Since breaking out shortly after noon Tuesday, the fire has destroyed two residences and seven outbuildings. No homes are threatened as of Thursday evening, Christopherson said.

More than 2,000 fire personnel have responded to the vegetation fire.

The fire is burning in steep, rugged terrain in a rural area and firefighters have faced high heat, humidity and erratic winds, according to Cal Fire officials.

Better weather, however, allowed firefighters to make significant progress Thursday.

A road closure remained in effect two miles west of the Lake County line on Guenoc Road and Butts Canyon Road.

The fire is not posing a threat to Napa County's world famous vineyards so far.

The fire was first reported on Tuesday just after noon at a home north of the Aetna Springs Winery, off Butts Canyon Road, northwest of Lake Berryessa. The area is east of Calistoga and has a population of just about 600 people.

Cal Fire firefighters said it was the largest wildfire in the state in weeks. On Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown said he secured a federal grant to reimburse 75 percent of the firefighting efforts from a FEMA Fire Management Assistance Grant.

Aerial views of the fire still burning in Pope Valley, Tuesday, July 2, 2014.

Vineyard manager Scott Brown told the Press Democrat that neighbors told him some young men accidentally started the blaze while cutting weeds using a tool with a metal blade.  McLean said he was familiar with the allegation, but would not confirm the account to NBC Bay Area on Wednesday morning.

For Cal Fire reports on developments related to the fire, click here.

NBC Bay Area's Jean Elle, Mark Matthews, Kris Sanchez, The Associated Press and Bay City News contributed to this report.

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