Saturday, September 8, 2018

Snell Fire: Butts Canyon 400 acres with the potential to grow to 5,000 acres.

#SnellFire Update 09:00 9/9/18 - Butts Canyon Rd and Snell Valley Rd, 7 miles SE of Middletown (Napa County) is now 1,900 acres and 10% contained.

#SnellFire Update 20:00 9/8/18 - Butts Canyon Rd and Snell Valley Rd, 7 miles SE of Middletown (Napa County) is now 1,700 acres and 10% contained.

Fast-growing fire threatening Berryessa Estates in Napa County

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – A wildland fire first reported on Saturday afternoon has begun to spread rapidly and has led to a call for evacuations in and around Berryessa Estates in Napa County.

The Snell fire was first reported shortly after 2:30 p.m. by a resident in the Jerusalem Valley area near Middletown, according to radio reports.

Cal Fire said the blaze is located in the area of Butts Canyon and Snell Valley roads, seven miles southeast of Middletown.

Firefighters accessed the fire off of Butts Canyon Road at Snell Valley Ranch, finding it to be about 10 acres and pushed by a west wind when they first arrived shortly after 2:45 p.m.

Within a half hour, the fire was up to between 20 and 30 acres, with a fast to dangerous rate of spread and more air resource requested.

Several tankers as well as Cal Fire’s Copter 101 and Copter 104 were working the fire according to .

Just after 3:30 p.m. incident command estimated the fire was up to 35 acres and was located three-quarters of a mile northwest of the Berryessa Estates, a subdivision of close to 200 homes on Putah Creek north of Lake Berryessa in Napa County.

Less than 15 minutes later, the Napa County Sheriff’s Office issued a Nixle alert for a mandatory evacuation of Snell Valley Road, all roads to Snell Valley and Berryessa Estates.

At 3:50 p.m., the fire was reported to be 200 acres, with spotting ahead of the main fire, according to reports from incident command.

At that point incident command requested 10 four-wheel-drive engines to access the fire and 10 other engines to protect structures in Berryessa Estates.

At 4:20 p.m., incident command reported the fire was holding at 250 acres.

By 5 p.m., incident command reported that the fire was up to 400 acres, it had spotted across Putah Creek and was moving away from Berryessa Estates, with the potential to grow to 5,000 acres.

At 5:15 p.m., the Napa County Sheriff’s Office issued an additional evacuation order, this time for the west side of Berryessa Knoxville Road from the Pope Creek bridge to the county line.

Temporary flight restrictions have been put in effect in the fire area, according to radio reports.

Authorities said Snell Valley Road has been closed to inbound traffic, with one-way traffic outbound only.

The Napa County Sheriff’s Office said an evacuation center for residents of Snell Valley Road and Berryessa Estates has been set up at the Pope Valley Farm Center, 5800 Pope Valley Road.

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.

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