Yolo County’s Sand fire forces residents to flee homes, sends smoke over North Bay
A fast-growing wildfire in Yolo County grew to 1700 acres with no containment Saturday evening, forcing residents near the communities of Guinda and Rumsey to flee under mandatory evacuation orders as hot, dry, windy weather elevated fire risk across the North Bay.
The Sand fire, in the Capay Valley east of Highway 16, was reported a little before 3 p.m. but grew to 125 acres by 5 p.m., said Will Powers, Cal Fire spokesman. It had tripled in size two hours later, pushed southwest by strong winds and fueled by bush and grassy-terrain in the area, he added. At 8:30 p.m., Cal Fire reported it had grown to 1,700 acres.
The evacuation orders affect all residents off of County Road 41, which runs along the eastern outskirts of Guinda and Rumsey. An unknown number of structures were threatened. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
“It’s probably the biggest one for us (so far) this year, for the Sonoma-Napa unit,” Powers said of the wildfire.
Fighting the fire were 38 engines, as well as a four helicopters and five bulldozers. Air tankers were dropping retardant, assisting ground crews and water tenders, Powers said.
Sonoma County authorities issued alerts over social media that smoke in the area was from the Sand fire and that no fire was burning in the immediate vicinity.
An evacuation center opened at the Esparto Boy Scout Cabin at 16980 Yolo Avenue, the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office reported. There were no reported injuries as of about 7 p.m., Powers said.
Earlier in the day, air and ground crews quickly stopped progress on a smaller blaze in Pope Valley, northeast of Calistoga in Napa County. Cal Fire named it the Ink fire. It started just after 2:30 p.m. and was last reported at 50 acres and was 75% contained.