Home Fire News Hundreds evacuated, power being cut off as 2,000 acre Sand Fire continues...

Hundreds evacuated, power being cut off as 2,000 acre Sand Fire continues to burn in California

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Gwendolyn Wu
San Francisco Chronicle

More than 300 residences were asked to evacuate and seven nonresidential buildings burned in the Sand Fire, which scorched 2,220 acres in parts of Yolo County over the weekend.

The fire, first reported Saturday afternoon, was 20% contained by 4:30 p.m. Sunday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire. No injuries were reported.

What was a 100-acre brush fire quickly grew to 1,700 acres by Saturday evening as strong gusts and low humidity whipped the flames. But growth slowed overnight, with the fire gaining only 100 acres to 1,800.

A stable of fire engines, water tankers, helicopters and bulldozers carrying 627 fire personnel was battling the flames outside of the town of Guinda, about 50 miles northwest of Sacramento, as it chewed through “steep brush-covered slopes,” Cal Fire said.

Most of the structures that burned were outbuildings, officials said. A portion of Highway 16 was closed because of the fire, but that closure shrank as the day progressed Sunday, according to Cal Fire.

About 125 residences in Yolo County were evacuated, Cal Fire said. An evacuation center was set up in Esparto at 16980 Yolo Ave.

A red-flag fire warning for Yolo County and other parts of Northern California expired at 5 p.m. Sunday. Gusts were expected to die down in the afternoon, creating more favorable conditions for firefighters, said Emily Heller, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

“Winds were … terrible yesterday,” Heller said of conditions Saturday.

Forecasters still expect Yolo County to experience excessive heat, with temperatures in the mid-90s.

Cal Fire was working another fire Sunday evening south of San Jose. The Malech Fire, near the intersection of Malech Road and Bailey Road east of Highway 101, had burned 210 acres with 70% containment by 7 p.m.

Another fire broke out Saturday afternoon northeast of Calistoga in Napa County. The Ink Fire torched 50 acres and was 85 percent contained by Sunday morning, according to Cal Fire.

Chronicle staff writer Matthias Gafni contributed to this report.

Gwendolyn Wu is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: gwendolyn.wu@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @gwendolynawu

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