Photo: JOSH EDELSON/AFP Via Getty Images
Thousands of homes in Vacaville are threatened after the LNU Lightning Complex fire exploded overnight and turned toward Solano and Yolo counties.
The fires, which started near Hennessy Ridge Road in Napa and quickly spread to the Lake Berryessa area, suddenly blew into Vacaville about 1 a.m., as high winds gusted. Some residents were awoken in the middle of the night and forced to flee.
“It’s very rare that we see the type of fire behavior I saw last night,” Vacaville Fire Chief Kris Concepcion said in an interview with ABC7.
“I saw a wall of flames about 40 feet high just traveling into the city very quickly,” he added.
Evacuations were ordered in Vacaville for all residents of Pleasants Valley Road and the English Hills area as flames raced across roadways. Video and photos of the English Hills area show some homes have been destroyed. The owners of Yin Ranch, an event and wedding venue on Pleasants Valley Road, confirmed it is at least partially destroyed.
At least 50 structures have been destroyed by the LNU Lightning Complex. It is not yet known how many of those homes are in Vacaville and the hills around the city. Concepcion said up to 3,000 residences in the city limits were in danger.
The Solano County Sheriff’s Department told residents to leave their homes west of Blue Ridge Road to Interstate 505 in Vacaville and north of Cherry Glen Road to Highway 128. All of Gibson Canyon Road and Solar Hills must be evacuated, as the fire has entered Gibson Canyon.
According to the Vacaville fire map, an evacuation warning — indicating residents should be ready to leave at a moment’s notice — now extends all the way to the edge of the Vacaville Premium Outlets on the east and Interstate 80 to the south.
A full map of the evacuation zones in Fairfield, Suisun, Vacaville and Winters is available here.
Evacuation orders have also been issued in Suisun Valley and Fairfield. All residents north of Rockville Road and west of Suisun Valley Road to the Solano County line must leave immediately. Rancho Solano, Rolling Hills and the Sanctuary neighborhood are ordered to evacuate. The Paradise Valley neighborhood is under an evacuation warning.
The raging blaze has charred 46,225 acres (or 72 square miles) from Napa to Winters and was zero percent contained, according to Wednesday morning status report from Cal Fire. To put that in perspective, that’s a little more than the size of the city of San Francisco.
“Extreme fire behavior with short and long range spotting are continuing to challenge firefighting efforts,” Cal Fire said.
There are no evacuations for Winters at this time.
Cal Fire’s site has been down intermittently Wednesday, so if you are looking for live updates, we’ve collected some resources here.
MORE WILDFIRE COVERAGE:
These are the fires burning in the Bay Area right now
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North Bay fires explode overnight, heading into Vacaville
SCU Lightning Complex fires grow from 35K to 85K acres overnight
Wildfire burns in Point Reyes National Seashore
CZU Lightning Complex Fire rages in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties
SFGATE news editor Amy Graff contributed to this report.
Katie Dowd is the SFGATE managing editor. Email her: [email protected] | Twitter: @katiedowd