SONOMA COUNTY (CBS SF) — Cal Fire crews in the North Bay made progress Wednesday evening on the Fremont Fire burning near the community of Schellville in Sonoma County.
As of about 7 p.m., the fire has burned more than 116 acres and is 80% contained.
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) September 23, 2021
Crews from the Sonoma-Lake-Napa Cal Fire Unit first responded around 2:30 p.m. to the area of Fremont Drive and Napa Road, near the Napa-Sonoma County line as well as the burn scar left by the Nuns Fire in 2017.
By 3:30 p.m., the fire quickly grew to 40 acres and by 5 p.m. the fire had grown to more than 50 acres.
We are at the #FremontFire burning between #Napa and #Sonoma. Fire is moving east towards Napa but air support is criss crossing above and getting good containment on the fire. pic.twitter.com/2qgoGFMPky
— Andrea Nakano (@AndreaKPIX) September 22, 2021
Francis Mahoney with Mahoney Vineyards said, “We’re scared. We’re scared of any grass we see.”
Mahoney has lived in the Napa Valley for the last 50 years. “All those other years I’ve been here, we never saw any of this,” he told KPIX 5.
In 2017, Mahoney saw the Nuns fire jump over his vineyard. On Wednesday, he watched firefighters throw every available resource to get the upper hand on the Fremont fire.
“Good God, we saw everything. Helicopters, we saw 727s, we saw smoke clouds go up to around 10,000 feet,” Mahoney said, as he described the scene.
According to Cal Fire, the blaze started just off Highway 12 and the flames raced up the hill through rugged terrain.
Wildfire Approaching Napa Co.
Sonoma Co. Deputies are assisting Cal Fire with an active fire burning in the 4200 block of Napa Road near the Sonoma/Napa Co. line.Please stay out of the area. No evacuations at this time. Fire began around 2:30pm.Currently 40+ acres, 0% contained. pic.twitter.com/Ml8i4l5FLd
— Napa County Sheriff's Office (@NapaSheriff) September 22, 2021
Investigators were seen talking to workers that may have been prepping the land for a new vineyard.
Mahoney said with the dry vegetation, any little spark could mean disaster. “It’s a situation we can see if the right conditions go with the wind and it gets dry and hot, it can all go,” he said.
As much as residents are fatigued by the threat of fires, it has already been a long season for crews in the Bay Area.
Cal Fire public information officer Tyree Zander told KPIX 5, “We’ve been busy all year. We’ve had multiple fires throughout the state. We’ve been responding with our units to there, but we’re well trained.”
“This is getting old,” Mahoney said. “We’ve seen what happened in Berryessa, we’ve seen what happened in Lake County. This is just getting old.”
Crews will remain on the scene and continue to work on containment, putting out hot spots throughout the night.