GUINDA (CBS13) – Firefighters are continuing to battle the Sand Fire in Yolo County, the first county to have a major fire of the season in California.
As of Monday night, the fire had burned 2,200 acres and was 50 percent contained.
Burning hillsides thick with brush, the fire broke out Saturday.
Crews continue to work around the clock to keep neighbors safe. From the ground to the air, fire crews have been using different strategies to battle some of the lingering hotspots, including taking water and dumping it on some of the areas that keep sparking.
Micah Bennett returned back to her home off Rumsey Canyon Road on Monday to see helicopters flying overhead and crews battling terrain in her backyard. She saw the fire Saturday before she heard it.
“The smoke was dark, and we could see the orange reflection from the flames it seemed like,” said Bennett.
She’s been through a few fire seasons in Yolo County, but this Sand Fire felt eerily close.
“It did feel almost like a war zone, but I can tell you, it makes you feel better that these firefighters are around here. We are absolutely so grateful,” she said.
She left after the mandatory evacuation was announced but everyone followed suit.
“I still left, but my neighbors mostly stayed,” she said.
No one’s property was destroyed, but seven outbuildings were burned down over the weekend.
“This was definitely the most frightening, because the wind was blowing so hard and the fire started so close,” Bennett said.
Bennett and her neighbors tell us they are used to this, but for first responders, battling these elements isn’t easy.
Sandy Wargo, public information officer for the North Bay Management Team Supporting Cal Fire said, “The ignite-ability is a lot easier. A few sparks land, and it can just light again.”
She said wind, humidity, and heat reaching triple digits makes this a slower process for firefighters.
“Having to balance and carry equipment — it’s a very difficult situation for them, but they are making a difference,” she said.
Leaders with Cal Fire say humidity was extremely low Monday: eight percent. They are used to dealing with 23 percent days.
Lower humidity also makes it easier for sparks to catch easily and spread.
Highway 16 is back open Monday, and power has been restored to neighbors in the area.