Snell fire in Napa County grows to 2,400 acres

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Fire crews spent Sunday slowing the spread of the Snell fire in northern Napa County, preventing the 2,400-acre wildland blaze from threatening any additional homes.

Containment grew to 20 percent by day’s end on the fire burning in a remote area about 7 miles southeast of Middletown, near Butts Canyon and Snell Valley roads. Hot, dry conditions and light winds posed ongoing challenges for firefighters, but crews continued making progress, Cal Fire spokesman Will Powers said.

“There was no extreme growth on the fire, but there were some slight breezes up there,” he said. “Through the days we expect containment to go up.”

The fire, which ignited Saturday afternoon and quickly grew to 1,700 acres by nightfall, is burning in grassy oak woodlands that are difficult for crews to access.

No structures have been destroyed or damaged, nor have any injuries been reported. But the fire is threatening 180 structures, most of which are homes in the Berryessa Estates neighborhood, Cal Fire said.

Fire personnel more than doubled from 480 Sunday morning to 1,241 by the evening. They’re manning 132 fire engines, 24 bulldozers, 20 water tankers, seven helicopters and six air tankers.

Sonoma County fire agencies so far contributed 10 engines, including at least one long term from the Petaluma Fire Department. Santa Rosa, Rancho Adobe, Forestville, Healdsburg, Sonoma Valley and Windsor fire crews have also responded to the wildfire.

Evacuation orders remain in place for the west side of Berryessa Knoxville Road from Pope Creek Bridge to the Lake-Napa county line, Snell Road and all roads to Snell Valley and Berryessa Estates.

Berryessa Knoxville Road is closed from Putah Creek Bridge north to the county line, as is Snell Valley Road at the Butts Canyon Road intersection.

An evacuation center has been established at the Pope Valley Farm Center.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin Fixler at 707-521-5336. Reach Staff Writer Hannah Beausang at 707-521-5214 or hannah.beausang@pressdemocrat.com.

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