NAPA COUNTY (CBS SF) – Crews in the North Bay are making progress containing the Pope Fire that broke out in Napa County east of the communities of Angwin and Saint Helena Friday afternoon.
The fire started near Lower Chiles Valley Road and Chiles Pope Valley Road around 4 p.m. According to Cal Fire, the fire quickly grown and has burned at least 25 to 30 acres as of about 5 p.m.
By 7:30 p.m. the fire had burned 67 acres, but crews were able to bring containment to 50 percent.
A total of 24 engines, seven water tenders and four hand crews are currently battling the fire. Cal Fire said that the fire is burning in grassy oak woodlands in steep terrain that have made fighting it a challenge.
— CAL FIRE LNU (@CALFIRELNU) October 24, 2020
While crews have made good progress, they are expected to remain on the scene overnight building containment lines and extinguishing hot spots.
No structures are currently threatened.
#POPEFIRE CAL FIRE LNU crews are on scene of a Vegetation Fire in the area of Lower Chiles Valley Rd x Chiles Pope Valley Rd in Napa County. Fire is 2-3 acres, updates to follow. pic.twitter.com/lwKvnaZRGV
— CAL FIRE LNU (@CALFIRELNU) October 23, 2020
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) October 23, 2020
Air crews have been brought in to battle the blaze.
— KPIX 5 (@KPIXtv) October 24, 2020
The Pope Fire has erupted near the burn zone of the Glass Fire, a blaze that roared through 67,484 acres in Sonoma and Napa counties, destroying 642 homes and laying to waste 365 commercial buildings, including nearly two dozen wineries.
Cal Fire officials announced 100 percent containment of the Glass Fire Tuesday, more than three weeks after it started.
The fire is also burning near an area burned by the massive and deadly LNU Lightning Complex fires that burned earlier this summer. The complex, sparked by an unusual lightning storm in August, killed five people, burned 363,220 acres and destroyed nearly 1,500 structures. It was one of the largest wildfires in California history, and was not fully contained until early October.
Friday’s fire comes as the wildfire-region braces for the possibility of even more wildfires, as winds are expected to pick up early next week. The National Weather Service has issued multiple Red Flag Warnings for the Bay Area, including a warning impacting the North Bay mountains from 11 a.m. Sunday through 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Cal Fire officials said Chiles Pope Valley Road is closed from Pope Canyon Road and Lower Chiles Valley Road as of Friday evening.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.