PHOTOS BY AL FRANCIS
UPDATE: 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.
The spread of a more than 40-acre fire south of Sonoma has been halted, but firefighters remain on the scene and road closures are likely to continue overnight, a California Highway Patrol spokesperson said.
The brush fire, first reported on the right-hand shoulder of state Highway 121 north of Eighth Street East around 1:30 p.m., grew to more than 40 acres, CHP Officer Anna Paulson said.
The fire centered around a pallet factory at the corner of Highway 121 and Fremont Drive. Several trailers in the area and warehouse structures were destroyed, as well as factory equipment, Paulson said.
The fire damaged power lines and a transformer in the area, causing a power loss in the area, Paulson said. PG&E is on scene. A propane tank also exploded during the fire, Paulson said.
Sparks were seen coming from a tow truck using a tow dolly in the area around that time, but it is unclear what caused the sparks, Paulson said. Residents in one home close to Highway 121 at Fremont Road self-evacuated.
Road closures are in effect on Highway 121 at state Highway 116 and at Eighth Street East, at Watmaugh Road and Broadway and at Napa Road at Eighth Street East. Motorists are advised to avoid the area, but Paulson said traffic appears to be only minimally affected in the area.
UPDATE: 8:25 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013
By Bay City News Service
Six structures have been destroyed in a 40-acre fire south of the city of Sonoma this afternoon, according to a California Highway patrol official.
The fire, first reported on the right-hand shoulder of state Highway 121 in the Schellville area around 1:30 p.m., was around 60 percent contained as of shortly after 5 p.m., CHP spokesperson Anna Paulson said.
Sparks were seen coming from a tow truck using a tow dolly in the area around that time, but it is unclear what caused the sparks, Paulson said.
The fire has damaged around 40 acres, 10 recreational vehicles and factory equipment, as well as six building, Paulson said. One home close to Highway 121 at Fremont Road was evacuated.
Road closures include Highway 121 at state Highway 116 and at Eighth Street East, Watmaugh Road and Broadway and Napa Road at Eighth Street East.
Motorists are advised to avoid the area.
UPDATE: 4:20 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013
By Keri Brenner
Firefighters from Napa County Fire and Cal Fire in Napa Valley are en route to help fight the grass fire in Schellville that has already burned 40 acres and five structures at a pallet factory.
Crews are also battling the fire from the air, dropping fire retardant on the blaze.
Several witnesses have reported an explosion within about the past hour. It was not immediately known what was the source of the noise.
According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the explosions likely came from a pallet factory, one of the three structures that burned.
To read the Press Democrat story, click here.
At the same time, Cal Fire is battling another blaze in Contra Costa County. The Morgan fire has burned more than 350 acres as of 4:41 p.m.
ORIGINAL STORY: 4:15 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.
By Bay City News Service
A grass fire this afternoon destroyed three structures in unincorporated Sonoma County south of the city of Sonoma, a Sonoma County fire dispatcher said.
The fire was continuing to burn near state Highway 121 in the community of Schellville, and was first reported at about 1:30 p.m., the dispatcher said.
Three structures have been destroyed by the fire, which had scorched at least 30 acres by 2:30 p.m., the dispatcher said. One of the structures was believed to be a palette factory, he said.
It was not clear if any of the other buildings that burned were residences.
Several units from Sonoma County Fire Department and Cal Fire have been dispatched to the area, according to the fire department. There were no immediate reports of any injuries.
State Highway 121 has been closed to traffic between state Highway 116 – also known as Arnold Drive – and Eighth Street, according to the California Highway Patrol. Motorists were being advised to avoid the area. There was no word on a possible cause.
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