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Napa Valley blaze close to 3,000 acres

Wednesday, July 02, 2014 - 01:33

Fire crews in Northern California are battling a brush fire near Bothe-Napa Valley State Park just as park staff are preparing for the July 4 holiday weekend. Mana Rabiee reports.

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In Northern California's Napa Valley area, the cloud of smoke from this brush fire is pushing up over the hills. One park aid said it looked like a volcano was erupting. Firefighters worked through Tuesday night to battle the Pope Valley fire that's spread to at least 2,700 acres, and has forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes. Witnesses said flames were jumping, 20, even 30, feet high. The smoke could be seen from a Sacramento suburb, more than 100 miles away. But just hours earlier, Mandy Mondie thought the blaze she was seeing in the distance was nothing more than a bonfire. SOUNDBITE: AREA RESIDENT MANDY MONDIE SAYING: "911 asked if it was the size of a football and at that point it was. And at that point it just started getting bigger really fast." It did move quickly. It's being fed by dry grass and a rocky terrain decimated by drought. Fire officials say this isn't a typical July wildfire. SOUNDBITE: DANIEL BERLANT, CAL FIRE SPOKESMAN, SAYING: "We're seeing fires burn with intensity we would typically see later in the year." So Mandy isn't taking any chances. She moved the horses at the ranch she works for and is hoping the worst is over. SOUNDBITE: AREA RESIDENT MANDY MONDIE SAYING: "All the horses on the whole property were watching the fire." The fire was at least 30 percent contained as of Tuesday night. Local state park crews are on high alert and preparing for the Fourth of July, when campers will be coming in for the holiday weekend.

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Napa Valley blaze close to 3,000 acres

Wednesday, July 02, 2014 - 01:33