SOLANO COUNTY (CBS13) – Communities remain on edge as fire conditions expect to take what could be a dangerous turn. High winds are forecasted early Saturday morning and into the day that could fuel these fires even more.
Blackened hillsides line Suisun Valley Road, north of Fairfield. U.S. Forest Service crews spent Friday cutting lines and mopping up, but this firefight is far from over.
“We still have a lot of work ahead,” said Cal Fire Cpt. Dan Olson.
Firefighters are bracing for what could be another perfect storm: low humidity mixed with high winds that could fuel fast-moving flames like the ones that erupted Sunday and Monday.
“If we have wind that’s pushing up a slope, it causes the fire to actually spread at a very rapid rate.”
Residents are watching closely too.
Evacuee Melissa Parker said, “It’s been a long week.”
Parker and her children, along with 23 pets, are taking shelter at Solano College. She hopes forecasted winds won’t ruin their shot at returning to their Lake Berryessa home Saturday.
“Hoping that the fire lines they’ve been working on for the last five days will hold out on them,” said Parker.
Wind gusts of about 30 mph are expected to come in from the north, and firefighters say it may not be such a bad thing.
“While wind can also be a foe, it can also be a friend for us at times,” said one firefighter.
If the wind follows its predicted path, it could push the fires back into themselves and that could work in favor of firefighters.
Olson said, “It slows that fire down and can significantly diminish the spread of that fire, so that can be helpful.”
Evacuee Robert Rassear says he’s not worried and believes it’s all in the hands of fate.
“The fire has already gone through the area that I’m at, so I’m assuming it already burned up all the fuel,” he said.
As of Friday night, the Atlas Fire is 45% contained.