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Blaze in Solano County sends clouds of smoke south on busy day of fires

SF Gate logo SF Gate 10/8/2018 By Michael Cabanatuan and Peter Fimrite
a group of people standing on top of a hill: Fire fighters battle a wild land fire with wind gust blowing upwards of 50 mph, kicking up debris and burning over 4000 acres on ranch and preserve land near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA. © Provided by Hearst Newspapers Fire fighters battle a wild land fire with wind gust blowing upwards of 50 mph, kicking up debris and burning over 4000 acres on ranch and preserve land near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA. a large ship in a body of water: The Belden's Landing Boat Launch dock shrouded in smoke from a wind whipped wildland fire with wind gust blowing upwards of 50 mph, burned over 4000 acres on ranch and preserve land near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA. © Provided by Hearst Newspapers The Belden's Landing Boat Launch dock shrouded in smoke from a wind whipped wildland fire with wind gust blowing upwards of 50 mph, burned over 4000 acres on ranch and preserve land near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA.

Firefighters scrambled to put out several fires Sunday, including a fast-spreading grass fire in Solano County, as high winds spread smoke around the Bay Area, where residents were already on high alert.

a fire truck driving down a dirt road: Fire fighters battle a wild land fire with wind gust blowing upwards of 50 mph, kicking up debris and burning over 4000 acres on ranch and preserve land near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA. © Provided by Hearst Newspapers Fire fighters battle a wild land fire with wind gust blowing upwards of 50 mph, kicking up debris and burning over 4000 acres on ranch and preserve land near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA.

The biggest blaze, called the Branscombe Fire, broke out Sunday morning at Travis Air Force Base in Solano County and quickly raced south, blackening more than 4,000 acres by nightfall.

a sign on the side of a road: The burn up remains of a car sits just outside the Belden's Landing Boat Launch as a wind whipped wild land fire with wind gust blowing upwards of 50 mph, burned over 4000 acres on ranch and preserve land near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA. © Provided by Hearst Newspapers The burn up remains of a car sits just outside the Belden's Landing Boat Launch as a wind whipped wild land fire with wind gust blowing upwards of 50 mph, burned over 4000 acres on ranch and preserve land near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA.

It jumped Highway 12, which was briefly closed in both directions Sunday, and was moving toward Grizzly Island, a state wildlife area.

a lot of smoke around it: Ground cover burned along the parking lot of the Belden's Landing Boat Launch, as a wind whipped wild land fire with wind gust blowing upwards of 50 mph, burned over 4000 acres on ranch and preserve land near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA. © Provided by Hearst Newspapers Ground cover burned along the parking lot of the Belden's Landing Boat Launch, as a wind whipped wild land fire with wind gust blowing upwards of 50 mph, burned over 4000 acres on ranch and preserve land near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA.

One residence, a barn and at least two vehicles were destroyed and more were threatened, said Don Ryan, the emergency services manager for Solano County. He said Grizzly Island Road, which provides access to the wildlife area, was closed to all traffic.

a close up of a fire: Fire fighters battle a wild land fire with wind gust blowing upwards of 50 mph, kicking up debris and burning over 4000 acres on ranch and preserve land near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA. © Provided by Hearst Newspapers Fire fighters battle a wild land fire with wind gust blowing upwards of 50 mph, kicking up debris and burning over 4000 acres on ranch and preserve land near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA.

The grass fire was 70 percent contained Sunday night, Ryan said, and Grizzly Island itself appeared to be safe. Still, the fast spread of the flames, which were pushed by hot, swirling winds similar to the gale that spread the devastating Wine Country fires a year ago, gave fire crews a scare.

a car parked in a parking lot: The burn up remains of a car sits just outside the Belden's Landing Boat Launch a wind whipped wild land fire with wind gust blowing upwards of 50 mph, burned over 4000 acres on ranch and preserve land near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA. © Provided by Hearst Newspapers The burn up remains of a car sits just outside the Belden's Landing Boat Launch a wind whipped wild land fire with wind gust blowing upwards of 50 mph, burned over 4000 acres on ranch and preserve land near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA.

It was moving so fast early in the day that local firefighters asked the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to send helicopters and air tankers to bombard the flames with water and flame retardant.

a couple of people that are standing in the grass: Fire fighters battle a wild land fire with wind gust blowing upwards of 50 mph, kicking up debris and burning over 4000 acres on ranch and preserve land near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA. © Provided by Hearst Newspapers Fire fighters battle a wild land fire with wind gust blowing upwards of 50 mph, kicking up debris and burning over 4000 acres on ranch and preserve land near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA.

Winds pushed the fire away from Suisun City, after it neared the Lawler Ranch subdivision earlier, Suisun City Fire Chief Justin Vincent reported on Facebook.

a herd of smoke: A rancher and his dog, made their way long property line as a wild land fire threaten his home near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA. The fire burned over 4000 acres of ranch and preserve land. © Provided by Hearst Newspapers A rancher and his dog, made their way long property line as a wild land fire threaten his home near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA. The fire burned over 4000 acres of ranch and preserve land.

Clouds of smoke and ash from the fire, blown by gusting northeast winds, spread south, carrying with them a strong smell and fears of a nearby wildfire. Residents as far south as San Jose reported smelling smoke. Fire departments advised residents of the Solano County fire and urged them not to call 911 if they smelled smoke, only to call if they saw flames or dark clouds of smoke.

a field with a mountain in the background: A wild land fire threaten a ranchers home near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA. The fire burned over 4000 acres of ranch and preserve land. © Provided by Hearst Newspapers A wild land fire threaten a ranchers home near the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Sunday 07 October 2018 in Solano County, CA. The fire burned over 4000 acres of ranch and preserve land.

“We’re getting reports of people saying there is pretty heavy smoke,” said Kristine Roselius, a spokeswoman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. “We weren’t expecting it to get all the way to the South Bay so quickly, but it was quite windy, and the winds were spreading the wildfire smoke.”

a close up of a highway: Thick smoke from the Solano Fires obscures Mt. Diablo from 680 freeway on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. © Provided by Hearst Newspapers Thick smoke from the Solano Fires obscures Mt. Diablo from 680 freeway on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018.

Roselius said those who smell smoke should stay inside and keep their doors and windows shut. Homeowners and motorists should set air conditioning units and car venting systems on “recirculate.”

a large mountain in the background: Smoke from the Solano County fires seen from Mount Diablo State Park just outside of Clayton on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. © Provided by Hearst Newspapers Smoke from the Solano County fires seen from Mount Diablo State Park just outside of Clayton on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018.

“Now is not the time to go for a run,” she said.

a close up of a rock: Facing north toward the Solano County fires on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. © Provided by Hearst Newspapers Facing north toward the Solano County fires on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018.

The National Weather Service reported Sunday afternoon that the spreading smoke was affecting aircraft approaches to San Francisco International Airport.

a view of a mountain: Smoke hanging over Concord, Calif. on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. © Provided by Hearst Newspapers Smoke hanging over Concord, Calif. on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018.

Several other smoky blazes contributed to the haze. A 15-acre brush fire was extinguished around noon near the Interstate 80-Interstate 505 interchange in Vacaville, where the connector ramps were closed briefly.

a tree in the middle of a field: A plume of smoke from a brush�fire�near Fairfield that went up amid high winds on Oct. 7, 2018 © Provided by Hearst Newspapers A plume of smoke from a brush�fire�near Fairfield that went up amid high winds on Oct. 7, 2018

Fires were also reported near Morgan Hill, where Cal Fire battled the 62-acre Park Fire at Monterey Road and Coyote Creek Golf Drive, which forced a brief closure of part of Highway 101. The Park Fire was reported to be 90 percent contained Sunday night.

a blurry photo of a person: At-risk California counties for Wildfires © Provided by Hearst Newspapers At-risk California counties for Wildfires

Evacuations were ordered in Tehama County, where two fires burned 3,848 acres. Cal Fire officials said the twin blazes were 40 percent contained Sunday night.

a group of people standing around a fire: Firefighters from Butte County train in Oakland. © Provided by Hearst Newspapers Firefighters from Butte County train in Oakland.

The East Bay and North Bay hills and the Santa Cruz Mountains are under a red-flag alert — a warning that high winds and low humidity could cause fires to spread quickly — until Monday morning. The area covered by the warning extends north to Redding.

a car parked on the side of a building: Sonora, California, United States, North America © Provided by Hearst Newspapers Sonora, California, United States, North America

There was some good fire news. The Delta Fire, which destroyed 63,311 acres and closed Interstate 5 for several days north of Redding near Lake Shasta, has been fully contained. The blaze, which ignited Sept. 5, destroyed 20 structures.

a bridge over a road: UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 28: The Knight Foundry in Sutter Creek, California, a historic, water-powered cast-iron works, later abandoned (Photo by Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images) © Provided by Hearst Newspapers UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 28: The Knight Foundry in Sutter Creek, California, a historic, water-powered cast-iron works, later abandoned (Photo by Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

Michael Cabanatuan and Peter Fimrite are San Francisco Chronicle staff writers. Email: mcabanatuan@sfchronicle.com, pfimrite@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @ctuan, @pfimrite

a train traveling down a dirt road: A view of the Ponderosa fire near Ponderosa Way and Lumpkin Rd., two miles northwest of Forbestown in Butte County, on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017.

A view of the Ponderosa fire near Ponderosa Way and Lumpkin Rd., two miles northwest of Forbestown in Butte County, on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017.
© Provided by Hearst Newspapers
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