NAPA, Calif. - Napa County officials today made it clear that this is "the day we have dreamed of" since savage wildfires sparked there a week ago, as the focus in the area shifts to recovery.
"Tremendous" progress has been made on all three of the fires affecting Napa County, Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann said in today's briefing at the sheriff's office.
"The call went out for help and people poured in from all over. Their support has allowed us to make significant progress on our fires," Biermann said.
"The Atlas fire is looking really good," Biermann said. The fire is 56 percent contained, according to Cal Fire. It has burned 51,057 acres. "We'll continue to mop up to make sure the fire stays in the box. We're
confident it will remain there."
The chief explained that while "the stuff on the hillside" will continue to burn until the rains come, there is little need for concern. The important thing with fires is containment - keeping the fires within a perimeter - and not necessarily total extinguishment.
The Nuns fire is a top priority for firefighters today, Biermann said. That fire has burned 47,106 acres and is 25 percent contained, according to Cal Fire.
The fire chief cited "really good progress. The fire is holding really well on Dry Creek Road. We are continuing to put (bulldozer) lines. We have primary holding lines, we have a secondary line. Up toward St. Helena, containment lines continue to be put in.'
"We are going to see really good progress on the west side of the valley as well. No threat to the communities," Biermann said.
Regarding the Tubbs fire, "we are making really good progress. I do not anticipate that it will make it into the town of Calistoga under current conditions," the fire chief said.
The Tubbs fire has burned 35,470 acres and is 60 percent contained, according to Cal Fire.
"We are evaluating repopulation for Calistoga," the chief said, referring to the possibility of people returning to their homes. "It is our priority to try to get people back in as soon as possible."
"This is our last press conference," said Napa County Board of Supervisors chair Belia Ramos. "We are now switching over to recovery mode.
"A week ago this started as a nightmare," Ramos said, referring to the fact that the fires sparked last Sunday.
"The day we have dreamed of has arrived. Be well, Napa, and be safe."