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Ed and Karen Brown said they had discussed taking a trip to Bodega Bay in their 30-foot RV before being summoned to Sonoma on Monday to survey damage to the vehicle, which was pushed out of the way Sunday by a firefighter operating a bulldozer.

"What do we do now?" Karen Brown said. "It's a wait-and-see."

McCaffrey said he had complained to Sonoma Pacific's owners about employees stacking pallets behind his property.

"I said, 'If you ever have a fire, you're going to burn me out.' They didn't care," McCaffrey said.

The 20-acre vacant field and 7-acre parcel leased by the pallet company comprise the Sonoma Valley Business Park. Both sites are owned by different groups of investors and managed by Odyssey Development Co. in Santa Rosa, according to manager Rick Deringer.

Deringer said McCaffrey never complained to him directly about the pallets. However, Deringer said he'd noticed them on his own and had previously scheduled a meeting for today with Todd Stevens, Pacific's Texas owner, to demand the stacks be moved.

Deringer called it a matter of "bad timing" that today's scheduled meeting didn't happen sooner.

McCaffrey complained that nobody had mowed the weeds in the vacant field, which provided additional fuel for Sunday's blaze.

Deringer responded by saying that various state and federal agencies that have jurisdiction over the property have prevented him from mowing.

The flames were fanned by wind gusts of up to 15 mph. Temperatures above 90 degrees and low humidity didn't help.

The radiant heat from the blaze ignited McCaffrey's barn from a distance of 70 feet away, Mulas said.

"We were in the middle fighting our way out," he said.

Firefighters continued asking for more equipment after the initial 1:30 p.m. call, bringing in help from Napa, Solano and Marin counties and far exceeding Sonoma County's standard three-alarm system.

A Cal Fire bulldozer crew pulled apart burning pallets in an effort to knock down flames but the heat was so intense the fire kept spreading, Mulas said. Without a city water system to draw from, the availability of water became a major concern, leading to the call for 18 water trucks.

When firefighters realized the 1,000-gallon propane tank was probably going to blow, firefighters and trucks were moved back about 1,000 feet.

Pieces of the tank were later found about a quarter-mile away.

"She (blew) and we went back in," he said.

Firefighters also had to contend with overhead high-power lines. Damage to PG&E's equipment, including a transformer and three power lines, left 155 customers in the rural area without power. By 3 a.m. Monday all but 20 customers were restored and the rest were back by 6 a.m., a PG&E spokeswoman said.

The fire also forced the closure of a major traffic route for about 10 hours, the CHP said. Highway 121 south of Sonoma was closed between 8th Street East and Highway 116. It wasn't opened until about 11:30 p.m., said CHP Sgt. William Bradshaw.

Highway 121 is a popular route for weekend travelers, connecting Napa and the Sacramento Valley to Wine Country. Travellers headed west were diverted to Napa Road connecting to downtown Sonoma. Those wanting to go east on Highway 121 had the option of heading back into Sonoma and around to Napa Road or south on Highway 121 toward Sears Point and Highway 37.

"That's a big closure, especially on (Highway) 121 on a weekend," said Bradshaw. "Thousands of drivers were affected."

You can reach Staff Writer Derek Moore at 521-5336 or derek.moore@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @deadlinederek.

Staff Writer Randi Rossmann can be reached at 521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com.