County Wildfire Torches 22,000 Acres, Blows Smoke And Ash Into The Bay Area

Noah BergerAssociated Press

The out-of-control Yolo County Fire has doubled in size since Saturday and is now burning through 22,000-plus acres. Additionally, the smoke and ash produced from the wildfires has blown across much of Northern California, swept southwestward by winds. These two polluting emissions reached the San Francisco Bay area nearly 24 hours after the fire began, and a great deal of the smoke has even reached across much of the North Bay. Satellite images taken on 7 p.m. Saturday showed smoke had blown as far south as San Mateo County, according to the National Weather Service.

The inferno additionally produced a smoky haze that has “spread west into Petaluma, south into Oakland, San Francisco and down the Peninsula as far as Redwood City,” reports the Mercury News. People that live in the Bay area are now seeing plumes of orange smoke and ash that originated from the wildfire, which is burning as much as 75 miles away from them.

Residents of the Bay Area woke up on Sunday to flakes of gritty ash raining down, reminiscent of a scene in the movie, Silent Hill, where ash often rains down on the characters. The residents have since nicknamed the falling gray flakes “ashfall.”

Social media users posted photos of the apocalyptic-looking scenes that greeted them early Sunday morning. The ashfall from the wildfires fell on everything from East Bay beaches to Bay area resident’s cars.

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Some health officials warn that pollution such as the ash and smoke that come from the wildfires can affect your health adversely, especially for those people who have pre-existing health conditions, according to Berkeleyside.

The fire ignited at 2:15 p.m on Saturday and originated in wildlands south of Guinda, according to SF Gate. By Saturday night, the wildfire had burned through 8,000 acres, with absolutely no containment. Thirty structures were reportedly at risk because of the blaze.

Wildfires are currently burning 50 miles northwest of Sacramento, and state fire officials made it mandatory for residents in parts of Yolo County to evacuate after the wildfire spread to Rumsey Canyon, located along Highway 16.

The mandatory evacuation order included “the area north of Highway 128, south of County Road 23, east of Berryessa Knoxville Road, and west of County Road 89.”

On Friday, Cal Fire cautioned people not to set off illegal fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday because they can ignite wildfires in the hot and dry conditions. Legal fireworks for sale in Sacramento County all carry a “Safe and Sane” seal, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Cal Fire Director Ken Pimott released the following statement about the current risk of wildfire.

“Wildfire activity has significantly increased during the last several weeks and California continues to experience volatile, unstable fire conditions.”