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Butts Fire: Hundreds Of Structures Threatened As Firefighters Hold Line In Napa County

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Nick Janes Nick Janes
Nick Janes joined KOVR/KMAX in December 2008 as a reporter. Nick...
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NAPA COUNTY (CBS13) — The second day of the Butte Fire ended with nearly 400 structures threatened and evacuation orders in effect along Butts Canyon Road.

Weary evacuee Tony Marchetti slept on a cot in a high-school parking lot, wondering if the 3,800-acre fire would take his home.

“I probably got two hours of sleep but it wasn’t very good,” he said. “It sounds like they’re doing a good job out there, like they have an army out there working on it.”

Firefighters tackled the spot fires that flared up in the afternoon heat. A major flare-up sent dark smoke into the Napa County sky.

A firefighter told CBS13 if the flames broke containment lines, it could mean troubles for hundreds of homes threatened by the Butts Fire. Several hours later, with six helicopters making drops, the lines were holding.

Elsewhere, inmate crews cleared dry brush that has fueled the growing wildfire. The plan is to backburn the area and send fire up the hill to meet the other fire. That would help keep the flames from spreading across a road and hopping to another hillside.

Despite Cal Fire’s cautious optimism, there’s no timetable for when people forced out by the flames like Marchetti will be able to get back home.

“We’re just waiting to find out what happens,” he said.

The overnight hours will be critical for firefighters as they take advantage of cooler temperatures to make headway.

“If the weather holds up and things calm down [Wednesday night] similar to [Tuesday night], I feel pretty confident that they’ll get a lot of work done tonight,” said Amy Head with Cal Fire.

People like Dorothy Hurst were waiting at Middletown High School for news on their homes.

“Gonna lose everything,” she said.

She and her brother Jay Smith are no stranger to wildfires.

It was back in the 1970s when Jay lost his home. When the Butts Fire forced him out this week, there was no hesitation.

“There ain’t nothing worth dying over so I just packed up take the dogs and go,” he said.

He hopes things will be different this time.

“I think the odds are we’ll be alright got some good guys up there fighting it,” he said.

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