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Butts fire evacuees face another night away from home (w/video)

  • Crews battle the Butts Fire in Napa County, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (KENT P0RTER/ PD)

Dorothy Hurst sat in the shade Wednesday outside an evacuation center set up for more than 200 households threatened by the steadily marching wildfire in the rugged hills of the Napa-Lake county border.

In its second day, the Butts fire just northeast of Pope Valley grew to 3,800 acres in the steep rugged terrain of brush, oak and pine — perfect tinder after years of drought conditions. Fire has destroyed one home and damaged one residence and four outbuildings, Cal Fire officials reported late Wednesday.

Residents of the area, like Hurst, on Wednesday faced another night away from their homes as officials kept mandatory evacuations in place. Hurst, 63, remained in the same sundress she wore Tuesday when she and her family piled into cars with nothing but their dogs, leaving behind their home in the Beryessa Estates development. Hurst said all they can do is hope a legion of firefighters on the ground and in the air can keep the fire from destroying their rural community.

“It is what it is; we'll take what comes,” said Hurst, who has lived more than 20 years in the remote development. “And hope to get home.”

Butts Fire

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The fire started just after noon Tuesday near a home on Butts Canyon Road, just north of the Aetna Springs Winery. A caller reporting the fire told Cal Fire officials the blaze started with someone whacking weeds. Cal Fire officials Wednesday said they still haven't confirmed how the fire started.

The blaze quickly grew and by nightfall was reported at nearly 3,000 acres. Tuesday night's cool temperatures and high humidity lessened the fire's ferocity and gave hand crews and dozer operators a chance to build lines around the fire and hinder its growth.

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