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Monticello Fire Evacuations Lifted, But Challenges Still Ahead For Firefighters

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monticello fire
Mojgan Sherkat (Credit: CBS13) Mojgan Sherkat
Mojgan Sherkat joined the CBS13 news team in May of 2014. Originally...
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YOLO COUNTY (CBS13) – Fire crews were able to make some progress Sunday despite the challenges they faced. Temperatures reached the triple digits and the wind continued to blow embers.

“Everybody was like what is that? And then all of a sudden flames broke out,” James Henton said.

Henton came back to the scene he ran away from Friday night.

“I wouldn’t even be back here. [I’m] just helping some of my friends get out of here,” Henton said.

He and his family were camping here this holiday weekend when the fire broke out. Many people followed in Henton’s footsteps and fled the scene. Others stayed behind.

“Where I was located at the water plant, I thought I’d better protect,” Larry Shankle said.

Shankle is one of the managers of the campground. He doesn’t have exact numbers, but says a fire of this magnitude – on a holiday weekend – hurts business.

“When you have a full park with people running around and having fun, and next thing you know no one is around. It gives you a whole different feeling,” Shankle said.

Sunday, crews had to fight triple digits and erratic wind. But another challenge firefighters are constantly facing is this steep, hilly terrain.

As the sun set on the mountain that forced evacuations, you can see smoke fill the valley below – and campers who are thankful for the firefighters for saving their lives and this property.

“They did a hell of a job saving this place,” Henton said.

Evacuations have been lifted for those who live along Highway 128, but firefighters say they still have their work cut out for them going into tomorrow.

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