Wildfire burns thousands of acres east of Fairfield, California

The Branscombe Fire is on both sides of Hwy. 12 near Branscombe Road

Branscombe Fire
Branscombe Fire, October 7, 2018. Photo by Solano County Sheriff’s Office.

(UPDATED at 5:17 p.m. PDT October 8, 2018)

The CBS TV station in San Francisco has video of another structure that ignited on the Branscombe Fire late Monday afternoon.

(UPDATED at 8:18 a.m. PDT October 8, 2018)

The Branscombe Fire that began Sunday morning east of Fairfield, California destroyed one residence, one barn, and two vehicles, a spokesperson from the Solano County Sheriff’s office said Sunday evening.

After it started near Travis Air Force Base the fire ran south crossing Highway 12 and bumped up against Cutoff Slough near Grizzly Island Road and the larger Montezuma Slough. Those water courses stopped the spread in some areas but the Sacramento River farther south should serve as a more formidable fire break if it continues to grow in that direction. However, Sunday evening firefighters were starting to get a handle on it and released resources from outside Solano County.

The Red Flag Warning that was in effect for the area Sunday is slated to end Monday at 1 p.m., but following that, firefighters will still have to deal with fairly low humidity in the 20s and north winds of 14 gusting to 18.

(Updated at 5:57 p.m. PDT October 7, 2018)

Branscombe Fire
The Branscombe Fire at 5:42 p.m. PDT, October 7, 2018. From ABC7 live video. Click to enlarge.

A fire that broke out Sunday morning east of Fairfield, California had burned approximately 4,500 acres by 5 p.m. according to estimates from firefighters on scene. The Branscombe Fire started near Travis Air Force Base and spread south, crossing Highway 12 which was closed in both directions until about 1 p.m. It is 38 miles northeast of San Francisco and the smoke is spreading into the South Bay area.

The media reported that at least one structure was destroyed based on observations from a news helicopter.

map Branscombe Fire California
Satellite photo showing the location of the Branscombe Fire east of Fairfield, California. The red dots represent heat. Smoke can be seen streaming south.

Live video from a helicopter is occasionally available at ABC7.

At 5:50 p.m. Sunday, judging from the helicopter video, the fire had spread across Cutoff Slough near the intersection of Grizzly Island Road and Joyce Island Road, but had not crossed over the larger Montezuma Slough. Beyond that is the Sacramento River which should serve as a more formidable fire break.

In addition to the firefighters on the ground, aircraft have been working on the fire, including air tankers, helicopters, and dozers.

The fire is burning in a sparsely populated area with few structures.

The area is under a Red Flag Warning until Monday at 1 p.m. On Sunday afternoon a weather station at Travis AFB recorded temperature in the low 80s, relative humidity of 14 percent, and winds out of the north at 20 to 24 mph gusting up to 38 mph. Conditions like that can present a serious challenge to firefighters.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

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