VACAVILLE, Calif. — Law enforcement and firefighters temporarily called for some people to leave their homes after a 4-alarm vegetation fire sparked in Vacaville.
Dubbed the Timm Fire by Cal Fire, it started near the 4400 Buena Vista Lane Thursday afternoon. The evacuation order for Buena Vista Lane was downgraded to a warning at 6 p.m.
The fire had caused evacuations for dozens of homes in the rural, grassy oak woodlands.
Forest ecologist Malcom North said most structure losses happen in these types of landscapes.
"It’s a pyrogenic landscape. It’s built to burn like much of California is built to burn, and when you have homes in those areas, anybody living in that kind of situation is aware that fire is going to be a problem at some point," North said.
North said climate change is driving the growing intensity and frequency of these kinds of fires.
"It is one of the upshots of changes in the climatic pattern... we tend to have this longer fire season now," he said. "Some people suggest that at least in some of the coastal areas it’s almost year round."
Cal Fire's Sonoma-Lake-Napa unit says 260 acres have been burned, and the fire is 80% contained.
Click here for an updated map of the evacuation zones.
This map from the National Interagency Fire Center shows fire activity (this may take a few seconds to load):
According to Cal Fire, the 2021 fire season started earlier than previous years, but also ended earlier, as well. January 2021 saw just under 1,200 acres burned from nearly 300 wildfires. Fires picked up in the summer when the Dixie Fire burned in five Northern California counties — Butte, Plumas, Shasta, Lassen and Tehama. The Dixie Fire started on July 13 and wasn't contained until Oct. 25, burning nearly 1 million acres. It has since become the second-largest wildfire in state history and the largest non-complex fire.
Overall, 2.5 million acres were burned in 2021 from 8,835 wildfires. Over 3,600 structures were destroyed and 3 people killed.
If you live in a wildfire-prone zone, Cal Fire suggests creating a defensible space around your home. Defensible space is an area around a building in which vegetation and other debris are completely cleared. At least 100 feet is recommended.
The Department of Homeland Security suggests assembling an emergency kit that has important documents, N95 respirator masks, supplies to grab with you if you’re forced to leave at a moment’s notice. The agency also suggests signing up for local warning system notifications and know your community’s evacuation plans best to prepare yourself and your family in cases of wildfires.
Some counties use Nixle alerts to update residents on severe weather, wildfires, and other news. To sign up, visit www.nixle.com or text your zip code to 888777 to start receiving alerts.
PG&E customers can also subscribe to alerts via text, email, or phone call. If you're a PG&E customer, visit the Profile & Alerts section of your account to register.
What questions do you have about the latest wildfires? If you're impacted by the wildfires, what would you like to know? Text the ABC10 team at (916) 321-3310.