NAPA, Calif. - Evacuation orders remain in effect Tuesday in Napa County because of a growing wildfire sparked by lightning, one of three major fires burning in the region.
In addition, large areas in Napa County are without power, including areas where residents are under a mandatory evacuation because of the wildfires, officials said Tuesday evening.
Darkened areas include a large portion of the City of Napa,
Yountville, St. Helena, and communities by Lake Berryesa, with more than 22,000 customers without power.
The Napa Police Department advises that many traffic signals are
off or flashing red and advise drivers to treat them as a four-way stop,
Earlier in the afternoon, California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a Statewide Emergency due to the fires and extreme weather conditions.
“We are deploying every resource available to keep communities safe as California battles fires across the state during these extreme conditions,” Newsom said. “California and its federal and local partners are working in lockstep to meet the challenge and remain vigilant in the face of continued dangerous weather conditions.”
Earlier this week the governor secured Fire Management Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with the response to fires burning in Napa, Nevada and Monterey counties.
The names of the fires: The Hennessey Fire near St. Helena, the Gamble Fire and the 15-10 Fire.
The Hennessey Fire was of most concern to firefighters and residents as it was threatening homes near Highway 128 and Hennessey Ridge Road. This fire grew in size slightly; as of Tuesday morning, it was 2,700 acres and was 0% contained. CalFire officials says it destroyed one structure and at least two outbuildings.
The evacuation orders were in effect for 20 homes and 200 other residences in the area.
"If you're in one of those warning areas, be ready to go because those orders could change anytime," said CalFire spokesman Will Powers.
The Gamle Fire burning near Lake Berryessa grew from 600 acres on Monday night to 5,000 acres by Tuesday morning. It was also 0% contained, but there were no evacuation orders in effect because of it.
The third large fire, the 15-10 Fire was burning near the Putah Creek Bridge and Berryessa Knoxville Road.
It started as a cluster of smaller brush fires, sparked by lightning, but overnight, merged into a larger fire. CalfFire counted at least 59 small fires sparked by lightning - so many, they started numbering them instead of naming each one.
"What we saw yesterday hadn't happened in 50 years," said former FEMA coordinator Mark Neveau. "That was the number of lightning strikes, up and down the state."
The rare weather has put a strain on the state's firefighting resources.
"There is so much going on right now," Neveau said. "We're seeing a stretch in the level of resources.
EVACUATIONS AND ROAD CLOSURES
An evacuation order update Tuesday evening included, Wragg Canyon Rd. from Highway 128 to the end of the road, including Pleasure Cove Resort. And Chiles Pope Valley Road, from lower Chiles Pope Valley Rd. to Pope Canyon Road.
Evacuation order issued for Berryessa Estates and Spanish Valley, in addition to new road closures.
An evacuation order has been issued for Snell Valley Road and Butts Canyon Road including Berryessa Estates and Spanish Valley. Residents can proceed to Crosswalk Community Church at 2590 1st Street in Napa.
On Monday afternoon, the evacuation order was updated to include all areas on Berryessa Knockville Road from Eastside Road to Highway 128 at the intersection of Berryessa Knoxville Road / Highway 128 (Turtle Rock Bar).
An evacuation warning has been issued for Butts Canyon Road from the Lake County line to James Creek Road in Napa, in addition to Markley Cove Resort to Pleasants Valley Road.
An additional road closure has been ordered at Highway 128 between Wragg Canyon Road and Pleasants Valley Road.
Bay City News contributed to this report.