Police and Fire Report
Saturday, 16 October, 2004

Register Staff Writer

Fire crews continue to battle Rumsey fire

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s Napa County crews continue battle Friday with a raging wildland fire that has charred around 40,000 acres of vegetation in Napa and Yolo counties.

The fire began at Rumsey Canyon in Yolo County on Sunday at 6 p.m., and by Tuesday had crept into Napa County. Fire crews have faced tough terrain and unfriendly winds, which have helped spread the flames among the thick vegetation.

As of Friday afternoon, firefighters had the fire 80 percent contained, with full containment expected today around 8 p.m. Full control of the burn is not expected until November 1.

“We are building roads just to get into the edge of the fire,” CDF firefighter Mashaad Kiburi said. “The fire was mostly a wind-driven fire.”

Flames have destroyed five outbuildings, including a lookout tower that sat atop of Berryessa Peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains east of Lake Berryessa. Three firefighters sustained minor to moderate injuries while battling the blaze.

CDF fire officials are calling the fire “human caused,” but won’t release any further information until an investigation is complete. So far, the cost of fighting the fire is $4.8 million.

Fire crews are using everything at their disposal to battle the burn including 133 engines, 16 helicopters, 29 bulldozers and 24 water tenders. Among the 2,121 fire fighting personnel helping kill the fire are 64 CDF fire crews, along with staff from the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, California Conservation Corps, American Red Cross, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Corrections, and state Office of Emergency Services.

Meanwhile, Napa County firefighters fought an unrelated vegetation fire along Highway 128 near Monticello Dam, which began around 3 p.m. and by Friday evening had burned five acres of vegetation. No structures were damaged or injuries reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

In an unrelated incident, a fire destroyed a two-story home along Highway 128 Thursday afternoon.

The fire began around 12:30 p.m., and when fire crews arrived they found the home fully engulfed in flames, CDF Capt. Jason Martin said.

Martin said the home was unoccupied at the time of the fire and flames caused about $400,000 worth of damage. No one was injured. The cause of the burn is under investigation.


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