I arrived in San Rafael, just north of San Francisco, Tuesday evening. After crossing back into California this morning the long-distance visibility quickly began to diminish the further west I drove, and by the time I reached the town of Roseville, east of Sacramento, I could smell smoke. Lo and behold there is a huge wildfire east of Lake Berryessa which is northwest of Sacramento. It only started a few days ago (reported 212pm on Saturday), has already burned over 72.000 acres and is only 15% contained. I hadn’t noticed it on the map before I left home this morning.
After stopping in Sacramento for a while around lunchtime I continued west on Route 80 and headed towards Napa, where I spent about 2 hours walking around town, then took one of my primary scenic roads up to Calistoga, where I had a late lunch and walked around town a bit. Turns out Lake Berryessa is not that far east from the Napa/Calistoga route I drove this afternoon.
To give you the scope of this fire, the CalFire Incident website provides the following information:
Fire crew members active – 2,665
Fire engines active – 274
Helicopters active – 18
Bulldozers active – 67
No mention of fixed-wing aircraft.
The TV news reports in Reno this morning showed that the “multi-engine aircraft” used to drop retardant on the Evans Fire southwest of Reno on Sunday afternoon was, in fact, a large jet (like a 737).