Firefighters battle North Bay fires

May 15, 2008 5:58:12 PM PDT
Firefighters battled strong and high temperatures in a couple of fires that burned more than 100 acres near Geyserville. That fire is up Geysers Road near the Hawkeye Ranch.

One of the fires is 100 percent contained and the other fire is 70 percent contained.

Though there were no injuries, at a similar fire in Napa County, two firefighters suffered heat related injuries.

Firefighters had to deal with steep terrain, heat and high winds.

On Thursday morning, 20 mph winds with 40 mph gusts pushed the fire 50 to 120 acres. In the afternoon, the winds died down to half of that, and firefighters got the upper hand. But that could easily change.

"Because if the wind came up, it could still run away on us," said Chuck Joiner from CAL FIRE.

CAL FIRE says it is unusual for it to be both hot and windy at this time of the year.

"People are conditioned in the middle it gets hot, but two days ago it was 60 degrees and today it's 85. Plus, a person can get to work and not realize how dry they are, and pretty soon it catches up with them," said Joiner.

Along with sun screen firefighters load up with liquids.

"We have to keep hydrated as much as possible. I have plenty of water and Gatorade in the engines," said Bart Vivenzi from CAL FIRE.

The rule of thumb is to drink two waters for every Gatorade, and once out on the line they wear water on their backs.

Crews from Santa Cruz arrived this afternoon for their assignment.

"We have these guys on stand-by because if the winds comes up, and we get some spots somewhere else, we have someone to send there, instead of having to order someone from 30-40 minutes away," said Joiner.

The are affected by the fires is all wide-open ranchland. There is nothing but cows, short grass and some vineyards. So how this fire started is a big mystery.

The fire started at around 4:00 a.m. in the middle of one of the hill sides, where no one lives and there are no roads and no power lines.


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