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Officials Report Monticello Vegetation Fire 55 Percent Contained

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WINTERS (CBS SF) — The Monticello vegetation fire that has burned nearly 6,500 acres near Lake Berryessa in Solano and Yolo counties is now 55 percent contained, fire officials said Tuesday.

The fire, which has covered 6,488 acres, began burning Friday night near the Monticello Dam, threatening 40 structures and causing the Golden Bear Estates and Canyon Creek Resort campground to be evacuated.

All evacuation orders have now been lifted and all public roads are open, but firefighters continue to battle the blaze in steep, rugged terrain with difficult access, according to Cal Fire officials.

Fire crews are using bulldozers and hand tools to clear brush and vegetation in order to keep the fire contained. The landscape includes grassy oak woodland and heavy brush in higher elevations.

Fire crews are also clearing a wider perimeter as a contingency plan in case the blaze jumps the containment line, according to Cal Fire.

Erratic wind shifts have challenged suppression efforts, Cal Fire officials said.

The smoke from the blaze has diminished, but it may continue to affect the surrounding community for several days, according to Cal Fire.

A bulldozer operator had to be evacuated by helicopter and transported to a hospital as a precaution Sunday afternoon after being injured when the bulldozer overturned in rugged and steep terrain in Yolo County, Cal Fire officials said.

Two other firefighters suffered minor injuries battling the blaze, Cal Fire officials said.

© 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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