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Monticello Fire Near Lake Berryessa Spreads Fast, Burns Past 7,000 Acres

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Smoke seen from out-of-control grass fire burning near Lake Berryessa.

Smoke seen from out-of-control grass fire burning near Lake Berryessa.

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WINTERS (CBS SF) — A vegetation fire that started Friday night near the Monticello Dam at Lake Berryessa in Solano County has spread to 7,000 acres and is 30 percent contained, fire officials said late Saturday night.

Fire officials said the Golden Bear Estates is still under a mandatory evacuation, and 40 structures in the area are threatened.

An evacuation shelter has been set up at the Winters Community Center.

State Highway 128 at Pleasant Valley and at Canyon Creek is closed due to the fire.

Around noon Saturday, firefighters briefly appeared to have the upper hand, with the blaze at 1,500 acres and 25 percent contained, fire officials said.

However, the blaze, located near the southeast shore of Lake Berryessa, spread to an additional 3,500 acres in less than five hours, Cal Fire officials said.

The blaze, referred to as the Monticello Fire, spread to 5,000 acres around 5 p.m. Saturday and is now covering an area where the Solano, Napa and Yolo county lines converge.

According to Cal Fire, the fire is located in a remote, rugged and steep area that is difficult to access, leading to an increase in fire activity in the Oak woodland.

About 350 fire personnel are at the scene and focusing on building control lines around the Golden Bear Estates, according to Cal Fire officials.

At least six bulldozers, four airtankers, two water tankers and three helicopters are being used by fire personnel to fight the blaze, according to Cal Fire’s website.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

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