Monday, June 23, 2008

Napa - Solano Wild Fire, June 21, 2008

About 20 Napa Elk members had assembled at our Lodge located near the intersection of Trancas and Soscol this past Saturday to complete our quarterly clean-up of our bar and lounge area. We had finished our labor for the day and were enjoying a BBQ tri tip/chicken lunch when one our members outside on the back patio noticed heavy smoke raising up in the blue sky near Mount George, the highest peak east of the city of Napa. He happens to be a vineyard owner up in the Tulocay.Coombsville area which leads to Wild Horse Valley that stretches to he southern slope of the Mount. Needless to say he quickly left the building to make sure his property was safe. The fire started about 4:00 pm.

I snapped the picture below after the fire had going for about 50 plus minutes. It was taken from our Lodge parking lot. (Click on the pictures for enlargements)

I then drove up Lincoln Avenue to Hagen Road which leads up towards the roads that parallel the hills you see in the above photo. I turned onto 3rd Avenue and drove south to connect to Coombsville where I could go east up to Wild Horse Valley Road.

The fire is located very close to the county line dividing Napa and Solano Counties

As I neared the start of Wild Horse Valley Road the fire and police epartments were already blocking off the area and turning traffic away. I snapped some pictures and turned around so I wouldn’t be in the way of the emergency vehicles that were coming up Coombsville to reach the fire area. To the right, you can see a very large private residence at the top of the hill in the middle of the picture. This area has many such wonderful homes that would certainly be threatened by this blaze.


The picture immediately above was taken when I got back down into Napa in the downtown area. It was shot across the parking lot of the Safeway Store located on the corner of Jefferson and Clay streets. You can see how it is burning up the Wild Horse Valley in a northerly direction. A few hours later the fire was burning in both counties.

From the above picture you can see how far the fire spread in a very short time. The gray color smoke stretches from just under the green street sign all the way over to the chimney located at Cuvee Napa Resturant and just above the Napa Terrace Inn