A new wildfire erupted for unknown reasons in a field in the Napa Valley Thursday afternoon, nowhere near the footprint of the LNU Lightning Complex fires burning to the north and west.
The Mondavi Fire, as it was being called, broke out around 2:30 p.m. near the famed Robert Mondavi Winery on Highway 29. Air support from the other fires was redirected to drop fire retardant on the blaze in order to prevent it from reaching the highway, as the Chronicle reports.
One winery, Nickel & Nickel, was "scrambling to clear out patrons and workers" when the fire appeared, per the Chronicle.
An evacuation warning was quickly issued at 2:51 p.m. for nearby Oakville Grade, which goes up into the Sonoma Mountains to Sonoma County, as well as Niebaum Lane, Manley Lane, Beerstecher Road, and Bella Oaks Lane near where the fire began. The warning was then lifted an hour later as the fire was apparently contained, as the Napa Valley Register reports. Reports on Twitter suggest it only reached five total acres.
#MondaviFire is contained at 5 acres!! Strong work! Thank you for the quick response. 😀— Kristen Drummond (@K_Drummond22) August 20, 2020
The fire was just another scary development in a day of continuous firefighting up and down the Bay Area. CalFire officials now say that their top priority in the LNU Complex of fires that is now straddling five counties — Sonoma, Napa, Lake, Solano, and Yolo — is containing the Walbridge Fire, which is burning in the woods north of Guerneville and presently threatening both Guerneville and the next-door town of Rio Nido.
As of Thursday morning, the LNU Complex Fire stood at 131,000 acres, with 105 structures destroyed, but both of those figures are likely to jump significantly in the coming day as the fire is 0% contained, and as crews complete damage assessments in the fire's wake. The fire continues making its way east into Vacaville and Winters.
To the south, the CZU Complex Fire are now threatening the heavily wooded UC Santa Cruz campus, as SFGate reports.
The SCU Complex Fire has reached the edges of San Jose, and while no structures or homes have yet been destroyed in the massive complex of fires, 6,200 remain under threat.
NBC Bay Area has a running list of evacuation orders and warnings for all three of the major complex fires.