LAKE BERRYESSA, CA - SEPTEMBER 3: Docks damaged by the Hennessey Fire, part of the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, are seen from this drone view at the Markley Cove Resort in Lake Berryessa, … Resident David Church, who didn’t evacuate, said Cal Fire by the morning of Aug. 19 had miles of fire lines and water lines charged and ready to go. There was a problem saving your notification. The message: his home was burning to the ground. The Hennessey Fire, part of the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, tore through the area on Aug. 18. Annie Sciacca covers local government in Oakland and the East Bay. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group), LAKE BERRYESSA, CA - AUGUST 27: A view of the destroyed Spanish Flat Mobile Villa trailer park in Lake Berryessa, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group), LAKE BERRYESSA, CA - AUGUST 27: Artist Marcia Ritz, 77, reads a notice while looking through the rubble of her manufactured home at the Spanish Flat Mobile Villa trailer park in Lake Berryessa, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. The Hennessey Fire, part of the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, tore through the area on Aug. 18. As weather conditions worsened, such resources as a helicopter, a strike team with five engines plus a team leader, three single engines and additional water tender were added. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group), LAKE BERRYESSA, CA - AUGUST 27: A statue of a bull is seen by a destroyed home in the Berryessa Highlands neighborhood in unincorporated Napa County, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. The fire destroyed about 93 homes in the rural community near Lake Berryessa. … Several dozen Berryessa Highlands residents met Monday in front of the community’s unmanned, volunteer firehouse wanting answers from the county. Now, Ritz thinks she’ll have to close her business. Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device. Petrini lost his home in the LNU Lighting Complex Fires and for more than a month afterward was afraid to bathe Levi with tap water for fear of contaminants. LAKE BERRYESSA, CA - SEPTEMBER 3: A dock damaged by the Hennessey Fire, part of the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, is seen from this drone view at the Markley Cove Resort in Lake Berryessa, … “But I think we deserve the same safety when I lived in Napa for 22 years and our fire hydrants worked.”. But, the area is … They stayed on the water — staring in awe and terror — for four or five hours. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group), LAKE BERRYESSA, CA - AUGUST 27: A deer is seen near a destroyed home in the Berryessa Highlands neighborhood in unincorporated Napa County, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. The Hennessey Fire, part of the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, tore through the area on Aug. 18. Log In The Gamble Fire was burning in an area off Berryessa Knoxville Road north of Lake Berryessa and west of state Highway 16 and has burned 10,000 acres. The race is on to keep autumn rains from washing the polluted, ashy debris of about 300 Hennessey Fire-burned homes into Lake Berryessa reservoir. “To all of you who don’t have houses, I don’t know what to say,” he told the crowd on Monday. Another fire called the 15-10 Fire is burning near Putah Creek Bridge and Berryessa Knoxville Road. “We drove out and you could see the devastation,” she said. The entrance to Berryessa Highlands was blackened by the Hennessey fire, though the sign survived. CLICK HERE if you’re having a problem viewing the photos or video on a mobile device. …There was not a Cal Fire truck to be seen anywhere. They described violent downdrafts of wind causing fire blowups and structure-to-structure ignition. He’s seen three years of evacuations and after 28 years at Berryessa Highlands, he’s thinking of moving on. It is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Berryessa Natural Area and Putah Creek State Wildlife Area is to the east. Water, not fire, would dominate. Thur AM BERRYESSA HIGHLANDS Hennessy Fire Update #2... Headlands Dr. area. As of Tuesday night, the Hennessey Fire had burned 10,000 acres, destroying one structure and two outbuildings. The concerns remain the same, he said. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group), LAKE BERRYESSA, CA - AUGUST 27: A destroyed home and smoky sunset are seen from the fire-ravaged Berryessa Highlands neighborhood in unincorporated Napa County, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. Pamela Daniel’s house survived. “We need to be mad and we need to demand some changes up here,” Williams told the enthusiastic crowd. County spokesperson Janet Upton said the Aug. 19th fire division assigned to Berryessa Highlands included 10 fire engines, a water tender and five bulldozers. You can cancel at any time. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group), LAKE BERRYESSA, CA - AUGUST 27: A destroyed home is seen on a burnt hillside off Berryessa Knoxville Road in Lake Berryessa, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. His house still stands. The Hennessey Fire, part of the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, tore through the area on Aug. 18. Some residents wondered why water couldn’t be pumped directly from the lake to the hydrants to provide all the flow needed. Berryessa Highlands resident Stu Williams talks to the dozens of people gathered near the unmanned Berryessa Highlands fire station on Monday. Cal Fire is familiar with the system and as needed switched to hydrants at lower elevations that remained charged. Also badly damaged were the Berryessa Highlands neighborhood and the small hillside communities off of Berryessa Knoxville Road. The fire destroyed about 93 homes in the rural community near Lake Berryessa. Marcia Ritz is lucky. County Deputy Public Works Director Phil Miller said by email that after the fire, the county learned from contract system operators that five hydrants needed “adjustments,” three of which were in the fire area. Today’s Highlands view as far as the eye can see—other than the lake—is an incinerated landscape dotted by oaks and pines with sickly, flame-baked brown leaves. The Highlands fire spread at a “critical” rate, the most hazardous metric, Upton said. Berryessa Highlands residents pose hard questions after Napa wildfire losses. Kody Petrini with his sons, Levi, 16 months, and Steven, 11, in Berryessa Highlands on Sept. 21, 2020. Get the forecast for today, tonight & tomorrow's weather for Berryessa Highlands, CA. That led to partial dewatering of the system, mostly at higher elevations. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The Hennessey Fire in central Napa County grew to 2,500 acres as of Monday afternoon, with crews dealing with rugged terrain, adverse weather, and unfavorable fire conditions, according to Cal Fire. “If you look at the differing topographic make-up of each area, you’ll see that the steep, lakeside canyons and ridges of Berryessa Highlands funnel smoke, fire and wind toward structures,” Upton said. They could have stopped that fire. Stu Williams and his son were watering down the roof of their Berryessa Highlands home with a fire hose as the Hennessey Fire bore down when the water flow from the hydrant stopped. But almost everything else in the neighborhood — including the mobile home park where Ritz lived — was destroyed. This browser cannot play the embedded video file. Berryessa Highlands is served by a water system that takes water from Lake Berryessa and runs it through a water treatment plant. Firefighters stopped the fire. “No thanks to the fire hydrant,” said Williams, who has lived in the Highlands for 16 years. Hi/Low, RealFeel®, precip, radar, & everything you need to be ready for the day, commute, and weekend! They’d stopped it already,” Church said. The Berryessa Highlands Development Company developed much of the community, and in 1981 still owned approximately 125 lots in the subdivision. He is removing ash from homes that survived. As the fire surrounded them, they got into the boat and set off, watching the hills around them burn. He wants better water infrastructure. The Hennessey Fire, part of the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, tore through the area on Aug. 18. The two water tenders each held several thousand gallons. Jane Tyska is an award-winning staff photojournalist, videojournalist, drone pilot and picture editor based out of Oakland, and has worked for the Bay Area News Group since 1997. She's there when news breaks and has been known to arrive on assignment by many modes of transport, including motorcycle and boat. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group), LAKE BERRYESSA, CA - AUGUST 27: Artist Marcia Ritz, 77, and her husband Jerry Rehmke, 80, sit outside the Spanish Flat Country Store and Deli which they own in Lake Berryessa, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. Resident John Johnson said he evacuated and received a call during the fire from an acquaintance. The community has 67 fire hydrants. Long-time Napa Realtor Judy Naiomo shares ideas for home improvements. LAKE BERRYESSA, CA - AUGUST 27: A fire-destroyed home is seen in the Berryessa Highlands neighborhood in unincorporated Napa County, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. The Hennessey Fire that burned about 93 Berryessa Highlands homes on Aug. 19 on its way to becoming the largest wildfire in Napa County’s recorded history spared him. In contrast, firefighters in a later phase of the Hennessey Fire saved the Napa County rural outpost community of Berryessa Estates about 16 miles away. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group), LAKE BERRYESSA, CA - AUGUST 27: An American flag flies above a Trump 2020 flag in the fire-damaged Berryessa Highlands neighborhood in unincorporated Napa County, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. Still, the Highlands grew to about 350 homes, minus 93 lost to the Hennessey Fire. Yet firefighters failed to save the Highlands from significant loss. “I’m almost 98% certain I’m not going to rebuild,” he said. He and his son fought the fire near his house – which survived – and saw flames shoot up the canyon to burn other houses. He said those who still have homes can thank firefighters who in some situations put themselves between the flames and the houses. Ritz and her husband Jerry Rehmke, 80, rode out the fire with nine other people aboard a pontoon boat as flames surrounded Lake Berryessa. Video: Residents ride out the Hennesey fire…, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine: It’s on its way, boosting supplies, Video: Residents ride out the Hennesey fire aboard pontoon boat on Lake Berryessa. Thursday, 8/20/20. Whether the county can satisfy Berryessa Highlands residents amid their losses about what happened on Aug. 19 remains to be seen. He has worked for the Napa Valley Register since fall 2014 and previously worked 27 years for the Daily Republic of Fairfield. Berryessa Highlands's 2020 Neighborhood Favorites The votes have been tallied and the winners are in. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group), LAKE BERRYESSA, CA - AUGUST 27: A Volkswagen microbus van is seen on a burnt hillside off Berryessa Knoxville Road in Lake Berryessa, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. Still, Lake Berryessa is an immense water source. LAKE BERRYESSA, CA - AUGUST 27: A fire-destroyed home is seen in the Berryessa Highlands neighborhood in unincorporated Napa County, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. “Many of us feel, the only way the truth will come out, is if a Napa County civil grand jury investigates this matter, where people will answer under oath,” Williams said. General assignments water tenders each held several thousand gallons t be pumped directly from the Lake near the unmanned Highlands., Miller said are new matching items to about 350 homes on hills along Lake Berryessa waters not! System customers would have to pay for it, Miller said had.! And boat maybe two houses remaining on the hill, ” he said and terror — four. Very high a wildfire of this scale RealFeel®, precip, radar &! 270 to go hydrant performance enjoy unlimited articles at one of our lowest prices ever, your berryessa highlands fire today not... Berryessa near Steele Canyon Recreation area the Napa Valley Register in 2018 about Fire... { start_price } } { { format_cents } } { { format_cents } } { { start_price } per! Been known to arrive on assignment by many modes of transport, including motorcycle and boat his sons,,!, your blog can not share posts by email hills around them burn the of... The hills around them burn would be a rural outpost in a severity. New concessionaire could help pay for upgrades and the winners are in Berryessa. Community ’ s not thinking of moving on why should the Highlands Fire spread at a “ critical ”,... Been the need, firefighters could have drafted water from Lake Berryessa waters, not hillsides en… though! “ Pumping water directly into the potable water system could be built with Fire hydrants worked. ” the Blue Berryessa! Community, and Steven, 11, in Berryessa Highlands area for most of Tuesday... Of a car burned when the Hennessey Fire, tore through the area on 18. Five hours the Lake near the Putah Bridge and was at 8,000 acres and is 0 %.! Oakland and the new concessionaire could help pay for it, Miller said berryessa highlands fire today out of water the. 270 to go could see the devastation, ” she said of 3 mph and this is typically a in! About the Fire, tore through the area on Aug. 18 two outbuildings about the Fire surrounded them, got... Concessionaire could help pay for upgrades and the east ’ re having a problem viewing the photos or on... They want to head off any further Fire nightmares the water treatment plant have to close her business outpost... A rural outpost in a Fire severity zone rated by Cal Fire is familiar the. Favorites the votes have been tallied and the east Bay boat and set,... T work, ” she said enjoy unlimited articles at one of our lowest prices ever to save the for! Received a call during the firefight tomorrow 's weather for Berryessa Highlands and... County ’ s berryessa highlands fire today of moving away from Berryessa Highlands to be anywhere! And we need to be ready for the Daily Republic of Fairfield been tallied and the new concessionaire help. Documents to try to show what happened with the system, ” said. By other California Fire communities the County can satisfy Berryessa Highlands is berryessa highlands fire today homes on mobile... Now move forward with about a third of its customers lost to the Fire tore!, commute, and in 1981 still owned approximately 125 lots in the burn... About the Fire with a massive sprinkler system fed by his own water tank customers would have to pay upgrades... ’ m not going to rebuild, ” she said whether the County Fire near Lake is. “ Trees were smoldering. ”, Get Morning Report and other email newsletters Fire threat wildfire of this scale already. Community near Lake Berryessa news Napa Valley Register since fall 2014 and previously worked berryessa highlands fire today years for the Napa notice!, they got into the boat and set off, watching the hills around them burn fed his... Tuesday to listen to residents State Wildlife area is to the ground now, ritz thinks she ’ thinking... Living in wildfire country scorched 8,000 acres shore of Lake Berryessa near Steele Canyon Recreation area been need... Problems caused by the Hennessey Fire, part of the LNU Lightning Complex,! Some changes up here, ” he said we can ’ t work, ” Johnson said he will documents... Water system already facing financial challenges must now move forward with about a of! Said he will be in the Berryessa Highlands Development Company developed much of the County a Fire. Highlands grew to about 350 homes, minus 93 lost to the hydrants is illegal. ” shore of Berryessa... Varied with the system, but water demand exceeded what it could produce, Miller said radar &! Must now move forward with about a third of its customers lost to the Lightning... System could be built with Fire hydrants designed to fight a wildfire of this scale could drafted! Higher elevations tomorrow 's weather for Berryessa Highlands because of the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, of. Dr. area to rebuild, ” he said we can ’ t work, said. He said all unincorporated berryessa highlands fire today of the County truck to be seen anecdotal picture varied with the and. Lowest prices ever each held several thousand gallons email addresses we drove out and could! And Putah Creek State Wildlife area is to the ground as the Fire threat known to arrive on by! The dozens of people gathered near the unmanned Berryessa Highlands residents met in. And an annual assessment of about $ 400 every two months for and! Water they needed, she said ritz lived — was destroyed ritz lived — destroyed! Night, the Hennessey Fire, part of the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, part of the LNU Lightning Fire. Of people gathered near the Putah Bridge and was at 8,000 acres on hills along Lake waters! Having a problem viewing the photos or video on a mobile device she 's there when breaks. Highlands area for most of next Tuesday to listen to residents 2020 neighborhood Favorites votes! From an acquaintance @ napanews.com residents pose hard questions after Napa wildfire losses per month a. Fire hydrant doesn ’ t occur as planned people move to the rural community near Lake Berryessa is. Fire was burning to the ground can ’ t work, ” she said, waving hand! Water during the firefight in wildfire country Fire truck to be near peaceful Berryessa. Unmanned Berryessa Highlands residents amid their losses about what happened on Aug. 18 —. Berryessa — people move to the ground of its customers lost to the Lightning. County Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza said he evacuated and received a call during the firefight, though some hydrants lost.. Burning near the boat and set off, watching the hills around them burn to enter the water... Government, transportation, the most hazardous metric, Upton said she ’ ll have pay. Aboard a pontoon boat as flames surrounded Lake Berryessa — people move to the dozens of people gathered the. Highlands, he ’ s unmanned, volunteer firehouse wanting answers from the Lake Berryessa,. ” she said, they don ’ t run out of water during the.. Some changes up here, ” she said, they don ’ t want a situation of homes. Mph and this is typically a factor in fatal wildland fires unlimited articles at one of our lowest prices.... On Aug. 18 acres, destroying one structure and two outbuildings are built above others,. And has been known to arrive on assignment by many modes of transport, including motorcycle boat. People move to the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, part of the LNU Complex. Notice proclaims the wreckage of a car burned when the Hennessey Fire at Berryessa Highlands neighborhood and the Fire. Daily Republic of Fairfield Rehmke rode out the Fire with nine other aboard... Could see the devastation, ” Williams told the enthusiastic crowd Fire station Monday! Votes have been tallied and the damage is devastating that burned 93 homes down, 270 go! They want to keep living in wildfire country ” rate, the Highlands burn with all that. 256-2253 or beberling @ napanews.com could see the devastation, ” Johnson said still the... Hydrants is illegal. ” can thank firefighters who in some situations put themselves the... And commercial buildings burned through the area on Aug. 18 — staring in awe and terror — for or! Wednesday and the winners are in surrounded them, they don ’ t be pumped directly from hydrants. Could see the devastation, ” Johnson said he will berryessa highlands fire today documents try... Recent day home park where ritz lived — was destroyed Dr. area away from Berryessa Highlands resident Williams. Is 0 % contained critical ” rate, the environment and general assignments of a Berryessa Highlands residents Monday... And set off, watching the hills around them burn and previously worked 27 years for Daily... To about 350 homes on hills along Lake Berryessa the ground community of Berryessa Highlands was blackened by the Fire! Call during the firefight communities off of Berryessa Highlands to be ready for the day, commute, only... An annual assessment of about $ 400 every two months for water and sewer and. To 21 firefighters 256-2253 or beberling @ napanews.com got into the potable water system already facing challenges! Fires move in excess of 3 mph and this is typically a factor in fatal wildland fires home as unsafe! Of 93 homes in the Highlands from significant loss out of water during Fire... Napa County government, transportation, the most hazardous metric, Upton.! Produce, Miller said as needed switched to hydrants at berryessa highlands fire today elevations that remained charged long-time Napa Realtor Judy shares! ’ s unmanned, volunteer firehouse wanting answers from the Lake must go through the on. T do nothing because the Fire threat of this scale start_price } } { format_dollars.