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Yolo County wildfire grows to 70,000 acres as more residents prepare to evacuate

Los Angeles Times logo Los Angeles Times 7/11/2018 By Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times
a man riding a bike down a dirt road: Jack Miguel of the Keyes Fire Department attacks a hot spot during the County Fire on Sunday, July 1, 2018 in Capay Valley, Calif. The fire has grown to 44,500 acres as of 7:30 a.m. Monday, up from a reported size of 32,500 acres Sunday night, according to Cal Fire. © Provided by Paul Kitagaki Jr./Sacramento Bee/TNS Jack Miguel of the Keyes Fire Department attacks a hot spot during the County Fire on Sunday, July 1, 2018 in Capay Valley, Calif. The fire has grown to 44,500 acres as of 7:30 a.m. Monday, up from a reported size of 32,500 acres Sunday night, according to Cal Fire.

A wildfire in Northern California continued to grow overnight and was threatening nearly 1,000 homes and businesses early Tuesday, authorities said.

The blaze started in Yolo County on Saturday and grew to 70,000 acres with only 5 percent containment as of Tuesday morning, said the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Fueled by high temperatures, low humidity and dry vegetation, the fire is burning in the rugged hills and canyons west of Sacramento near Lake Berryessa. Difficult terrain and shifting winds are complicating the fight, which thus far has included a large number of crews setting up defensive positions around neighborhoods in the fire's potential path, Cal Fire said.

There are more than 2,100 firefighters at the scene working to stop the blaze. Residents in neighboring Napa County's Berryessa Highlands, Markley Cove Resort and Pleasure Cove Resort areas were told Monday night to prepare to flee if the fire pushes closer. Residents to their north, in Yolo County's Esparto neighborhood, were evacuated over the weekend.

"Usually fire season is maybe late August, September, October," said state Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, whose district includes Yolo County and other areas hit hard recently by wildfire. "But, boy, it's just getting earlier and earlier."

The blaze is the second large wildfire of the year in California. The Pawnee fire, which began June 23 in Lake County, has burned 14,900 acres and is 80 percent contained after destroying 22 homes, businesses and other structures, Cal Fire said.

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