Solano County

County reopens park as Monticello Fire danger passes

By July 09, 2014

WINTERS — Lake Solano County Park is open again for day use and camping after being closed over the weekend because of the nearby Monticello Fire.

The fire as of Tuesday morning had burned 6,448 acres and crews had contained about 55 percent of its spread, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It began at about 9:30 p.m. Friday near Monticello Dam and Highway 128 on the southeast shore of Lake Berryessa.

Cal Fire by Monday afternoon had lifted all evacuation orders, which over the weekend affected residents at the Golden Bear Estates and along Highway 128 between Highway 121 and Positas Road. At 2:44 p.m. Monday, the state announced it had reopened Highway 128 at Monticello Dam after a closure that lasted two days and 16 hours.

Also on Monday, Solano County reopened Lake Solano County Park along Putah Creek near Highway 128 and Pleasants Valley Road. The county had closed the park on Saturday, forcing hundreds of people who were there for the Fourth of July weekend to leave.

“Fortunately, we didn’t have any fire damage, but a lot of smoke,” county Parks Services Manager Dan Sykes said. “It was within a few miles. I suppose if conditions had been different, if the winds had been coming from the north, it could have been a different situation.”

Lake Solano campers were probably unhappy to have their weekend spoiled by the evacuation, but the county wanted to make sure it had a safe campsite, Sykes said.

“On Saturday and Sunday, nobody knew what the fire was going to do,” Sykes said. “We did it as a precautionary measure.”

Solano County reopened the park Monday after consulting with Cal Fire.

“We wanted to make sure we’re taking our cues from Cal Fire on what is safe to do,” Sykes said.

The Monticello Fire as of Tuesday continued burning in higher elevations among oak woodlands and brush, Cal Fire reported. Firefighters had to work in steep and rugged terrain. One concern was the potential for stronger winds.

A total of 1,913 firefighters had responded to the Yolo County fire, including firefighters from Solano County. The state used four air tankers, 16 helicopters and 45 bulldozers to fight the fire.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

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