A fire near Smartsville, California that scorched nearly 50 acres on Tuesday is now 100 percent contained, although the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) called the conditions in the area over the last month the worst they have ever seen for this time of year.
Cal Fire Chief Brad Lewis told CBS Sacramento that firefighting conditions in Northern California are the worst the agency has seen “in recorded history, over 100 years easily.” Firefighters said “exceptionally dry” fuels were causing fires in the area to spread faster than usual.
The fire started around 4:30 p.m. on Monday near Hutto in Nevada County, according to the Appeal-Democrat. Aircraft outfitted with massive water tanks flew over the affected area and dropped water on the blaze, as firefighters and area residents did what they could on the ground. Although the fire forced area residents to evacuate, many homes were saved by quick-thinking firefighters and neighbors.
“I got my dogs out right away as they were watering everything,” area resident Shyanah Davenport told ABC News 10. “I got my dogs inside my house so they wouldn’t run away. So I stared packing all my stuff and I got the hose and I sprayed down the propane tanks and sprayed down all the dry grass and everything.”
A neighbor told ABC that when the fire “hit the trees and started exploding,” she ran.
While the fire in Hutto is now 100 percent contained, a vegetation fire in Monticello near Yolo and Solano Counties has burned nearly 6,500 acres and is only 71 percent contained as of Tuesday night, according to CBS San Francisco. Three injuries have been reported, and smoke from the fire could continue to plague the area for the next several days.