A 4,300-acre wildfire burning in California's Napa wine country is slowly being brought under control.
As of Friday, crews estimated that the Napa fire was 55 percent contained, up from 30 percent on Thursday, according to The Weather Channel. Thanks to good weather conditions, firefighters were able to burn away fuel on a portion of the fire, meaning that no homes are threatened.
Fire spokesperson Daniel Berant stated:
"While we've turned the corner, while we've slowed down this fire, there's still a lot of work ahead of us."
As recently as Thursday, the fire was a threat to several homes as well as to at least one of Napa's famed vineyards. According to CNN, the Langley Estate & Vineyard in Middletown were asked to evacuate. The Butts Fire, as it is officially known, caused 500 people to be evacuated, and has damaged nine structures, including two homes, as of this post. According to KVOA News (Tucson), the fire also caused 4th of July fireworks celebrations in the area to be cancelled. No injuries have been reported.
KCRA News (Sacramento) tweeted this picture of firefighters battling the blaze:
Trending: Wildfire in rural Napa County grows, makes runs overnight http://t.co/TQrtPDE5bt pic.twitter.com/CmBp59yOuZ
— kcranews (@kcranews) July 3, 2014
Although wildfires occur frequently in the drier months in parts of California, this year has been exceptionally bad thanks to a severe drought affecting up to 80 percent of the state, according to The Guardian. Said firefighter Mike Foster:
"We are about six weeks ahead of where we normally are in fire season in regards to how dry the vegetation is."'
It's only going to get worse. United States Drought Monitor issued this graphic, that puts 36 percent of the state in "Exceptional Drought" conditions. And California is well into its dry season. However, some relief may be in sight. According to the University of California, Berkeley, a developing El Niño system is likely to bring higher-than-average rainfall to the region this fall. Unfortunately, the rainfall will also bring flooding, landslides, and coastal erosion.
Related: California Drought Is The Worst In Fifteen Years (Inquisitr)
While the Butts Fire may yet turn into a bigger disaster, as of now things are looking up. Evacuation orders have been lifted, and some residents have been allowed to return home, according to The Weather Channel.
Have you been affected by any ongoing wildfires? Let us know in the Comments.
[Image source: http://www.trbimg.com/img-53b57ebd/turbine/la-me-ln-butts-fire-photos]