Napa County fire burns 1,700 acres, threatens 180 homes

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"Grabbed a few things, got the dog, and left." The Snell Fire has scorched 1,700 acres in grassy woodlands near the Berryessa Estates neighborhood, which was under mandatory evacuation orders. (KGO-TV)

A wildfire that ignited Saturday afternoon in Napa County forced the evacuation of 200 homes.

The Snell Fire has scorched 1,700 acres in grassy woodlands near the Berryessa Estates neighborhood, which was under mandatory evacuation orders.

"Grabbed a few things, got the dog, and left," said evacuee Sharon Thigpen. She and her husband have lived in the Berryessa Estates for 24 years and evacuations have become routine these last few years.

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They take every evacuation order seriously knowing the damage that can happen. "In a matter of minutes, things can go. There are possessions that can be replaced," Don Thigpen said.

Others decided to stay behind and wait things out. One resident took a water hose and sprayed down her house, a last-minute effort to protect her property.

"We've seen time and time again, people wait till the last minute and that's really what we don't want to see," said Paul Lowenthal, a public information officer with Santa Rosa Fire. "We have a lot of firefighters moving into the area and we want those people to heed the warning and get out of the area."

WATCH: Video of the fire captured by an ABC7 News viewer
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A 1,700-acre fire has prompted mandatory evacuations on Snell Valley Road, all roads to Snell Valley and Berryessa Estates, the Napa County Sheriff's Office reported.



Fire crews from multiple agencies moved in as many resources as possible to save homes. A big part of the fire fight happened from the air.

"We had several air tankers, upwards of 10 air tankers, fighting this fire today, as well as a significant amount of resources on the ground," Lowenthal said.

As winds picked up in the evening hours, the fire intensified, moving eastward.

The Snell Fire is part of a broader pattern in what's already been an active fire season.

For the latest information about evacuations click here. An evacuation center has been established at Pope Valley Farm Center, located at 5800 Pope Valley Road in Pope Valley, Calif., the Napa County Sheriff's Office said.

Get the latest stories and videos on wildfires burning across California, here.
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