Solano County residents evacuated as Atlas Fire approaches

After evacuating their homes, many residents of Solano County still can't go home and aren't sure if their houses are still standing.

As the fast-moving Atlas Fire continued to spread through Napa County Monday, homes and businesses to the south in Solano County became the point of concern for fire personnel.

The air quality is another concern for residents in the area. All residents have been advised to wear face masks when walking outside to help keep dangerous particles out of their lungs when breathing.

Solano County Sheriff’s deputies have a road block for residents on the hillside just south of Napa and north of Interstate 80. Mandatory evacuation orders were given late Monday night to people living on Joyce Lane and Twin Sisters Road in Green Valley.

An evacuation center was set up by the Red Cross at the Solano Community College. Dozens of families were taking shelter there overnight -- sleeping on cots and waiting for any word of the fire's progression.

Katie Wheaton and her husband, Warren, left their home in Green Valley just before the mandatory evacuation order went out Monday night.

"We thought if we don't leave now, we are going to be up all night," said Wheaton.

The couple stayed at a friend's home overnight, and Tuesday they were escorted back to their home by Solano County Sheriff's Deputies to pick up medication.

"Our biggest fear is we lose our house, our home, our everything, because I mean that's a scary thing," Wheaton said.

Tom Armstrong, who is also a resident of Green Valley, described what it was like evacuating his family and pets in the middle of the night with just minutes to get out.

"When we left it was kind of like a mass exodus. There was traffic coming down from all those little side roads and people leaving the valley," Armstrong said.

Armstrong has lived in Green Valley for 50 years, and he said he only had to evacuate one other time due to a fire about 10 years ago. His home was saved then, and he is hoping for the same outcome this time around.

"It's only a house. As long as you got your health and your animals I guess you got the best of it," Armstrong explained.

Cindy Kyle, a resident of West Sacramento, drove more than thirty miles to drop off coffee and ear plugs for the evacuees.

"Been through three fires myself and was evacuate three times, and so I feel for them. So, I'm here," Kyle said.

The Red Cross will provide shelter for evacuees at Solano Community College through Wednesday, pending on the fire situation. The shelter said they have enough food, water and bedding, but they could use school supplies for children, ear plugs for those trying to rest and face masks due to the poor air quality.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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