LAKE BERRYESSA (KPIX) – Wildfires raged out of control across the Bay Area forcing evacuations in Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, Marin, Napa and Sonoma Counties.
The fires in Napa County exploded in size Tuesday, growing from an estimated 12,000 acres Tuesday morning to more than 30,000 acres later that night. It prompted evacuations in many neighborhoods near Lake Berryessa.
Tuesday night near Highway 128 and Berryessa Knoxville Road, small fires were still burning on the hills. It was a remnant of an intense flare up of one branch of the fire late Tuesday afternoon.
The roar of the fires echoed through canyons as fast-moving flames consumed homes in the Spanish Flat neighborhood on the southwest side of Lake Berryessa.
- SCU Lightning Complex Fires: Napa, Sonoma Counties
- LNU Lightning Complex Fires: Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Stanislaus counties
- CZU Lightning Complex Fires: San Mateo, Santa Cruz counties
Nearby on Highway 128, the fire torched the trees and consumed the dry grasses near the Somerston Winery between Lake Hennessey and Lake Berryessa.
“It just keeps coming. Every few years, another fire,” says Nylind Stanley. He lives in Capell Canyon and says he was ordered to evacuate, but refused. He says this time, he doesn’t trust the firefighters to save his house.
“They’re stretched so thin now, there’s very few fire trucks up here and planes,” says Stanley.
His neighbor, Mike Nicholini, came over with water tenders and laid out hoses around the house.
“We’re pretty set up and ready, ready to take care of whatever comes down the road,” says Nicholini.
CalFire admits their resources are spread thin. There are dozens of fires burning all across Northern California. The hard part is, all of them started at once during recent lightning storms.
The continued heatwave isn’t making things any easier for firefighters.
“These conditions aren’t conducive to control of the fire. With as many fires as are going on, the resources are limited to some extent so that does make it a little more difficult to control,” says Capt. Robert Foxworthy with CalFire.