Ancient fire burning in Napa Valley forces evacuations and scorches over 500 acres as Napa County residents remember horrifying 2017 fire

NAPA, Calif. — Firefighters responded to a vegetation blaze Tuesday afternoon, forcing evacuations and threatening structures in Napa County.

The fire was first reported at 4:01 p.m. at 2300 Old Soda Springs Road

According to CAL FIRE, the fire currently covers 570 acres with 5% containment. Officials say crews will work through the night to contain and control it.

“The topography is not in our favor as we are dealing with inclined areas and getting to some of these remote areas has been a challenge,” said CAL FIRE spokesman Erick Hernandez.

According to the fire department, the cause of the fire is currently being investigated.

Jacob Schwarz lives in the area and believes he saw the fire. He said he was outside when the wind picked up.

“We heard a pop and then a spark just flew out, it looks like a phone booth or an electrical box,” Schwarz said.

Schwarz says he noticed flames spreading from the spot moments later.

But this isn’t the first fire to burn in the area. Both firefighters and local residents say it is in the same location as the Atlas Fire in 2017. That fire, part of the Northern California firestorm, burned tens of thousands of acres and lasted for weeks.

An experience, says nearby resident Tom Bird, that prompted him and his neighbors to take extra steps to reduce the risk of future wildfires.

“Everyone I know here has been working pretty hard since the 17 fire to clear the vegetation, clear the brush, but some events are just unpredictable,” Bird said.

But even with that fire burning just yards from Bird’s home, he’s not worried, he says. Instead, he puts his trust in the people who fight against it.

“We know that the hard working men and women of CAL FIRE will keep these fires under control,” he said.

Evacuations are being ordered throughout Soda Canyon Road, CAL FIRE said. The Silverado Trail is closed to the public.

An evacuation center has been set up at the Crosswalk Community Church in Napa at 2590 First Street.

Napa County officials say evacuees who need food, water or charging stations are welcome to use the Napa County Evacuation Center. Overnight accommodation can be announced if required.

The Napa Community Animal Response Team has activated its service request hotline. You can call (707) 732-1555 for inquiries involving animal services. A cattle shelter was set up at 1132 El Centro Avenue at the Valley Brook Equestrian Center.

Fire officials say there is no threat to the city of Napa at this time. They urge the population to avoid the area.

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Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All rights reserved. Ancient fire burning in Napa Valley forces evacuations and scorches over 500 acres as Napa County residents remember horrifying 2017 fire

Laura Coffey

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