Hennessey Fire: I-80 reopens in Fairfield after wildfire forced closure

The Hennessey Fire has devastated the English Hills community in Vacaville, burning dozens of homes.

ByLaura Anthony and Julian Glover KGO logo
Thursday, August 20, 2020

VACAVILLE, Calif. -- Several wildfires collectively called the LNU Lightning Complex fires have prompted widespread evacuation orders in the North Bay and Solano County and burned tens of thousands of acres, CAL FIRE officials said Wednesday morning.

In all, at least 46,225 acres have burned in the blazes, which have destroyed about 50 structures, damaged about 50 others and threaten another 1,900.

As of 4 p.m. the CHP closed I-80 in both directions between Air Base Parkway and Cherry Glen Road in Fairfield because of the fires.

Caltrans said just before 9 p.m. that all lanes on I-80 had reopened at Air Base Parkway.

RELATED: What you need to know about fires burning in Napa, Contra Costa and Alameda counties

The largest of the fires, the Hennessey Fire that started near Hennessey Ridge Road in Napa County on Monday morning, had burned an estimated 12,500 acres and was not contained at all Wednesday morning, prompting evacuations that extended into areas near Vacaville in Solano County.

First responders went door-to-door to alert homeowners, calling the situation an imminent threat to life.

Crews are closely watching the fire as it approaches Highway 80.

The Hennessey Fire has devastated the English Hills community in Vacaville. Dozens of homes have burned, including a large house on a hill along English Hills Rd. It caught fire just before 10 a.m. Wednesday and was destroyed within an hour.

App users: For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new window

High winds are creating sporadic conditions, as flames spread in a haphazard pattern - leaving some buildings spared. Solano County has not reported exact damage numbers yet.

The evacuation orders were issued for Solano County residents west of Blue Ridge Road to Interstate 505 and north of Cherry Glenn Road Highway 128. People on Pleasants Valley Road are also being told to leave. Earlier evacuations were advised for the Quail Canyon, Miller Canyon, Mix Canyon and Gates Canyon areas.

CAL FIRE says the LNU Lightning Complex fires have destroyed 50 structures and damaged 50 in Sonoma and Napa counties.

Evacuation Centers have been opened in Vacaville Wednesday morning. The Ulatis Community Center and McBride Community Center have been opened for residents forced to evacuate. Large animals can be take to the Solano County Fairgrounds in Vallejo. And small animals can be dropped off at the Solano County animal shelter on Claybank Road.

Map of Vacaville evacuations

According to CAL FIRE, the Hennessey Fire was caused by lightning as thunderstorms moved through the Bay Area on Monday.

Here are more evacuation orders and warnings due to the LNU Lightning Complex..

Evacuation Order:

  • Rancho Solano and Sanctuary Neighborhoods
  • From Moskowite Corner to Wooden Valley Rd, Including the community of Circle Oaks
  • Atlas Peak from the Bubbing Well Pet Cemetary at 2462 Atlas Peak Rd to the dead end
  • From Loma Vista Rd / Soda Canyon Rd to the dead end
  • Highway 128 from Lower Chiles Valley Road to Monticello Road
  • Highway 128 from Chiles Pope Valley Road to Lower Chiles Valley Road
  • Chiles Pope Valley Road from Highway 128 to Lower Chiles Valley Road
  • All of Hennessey Ridge Road
  • Wragg Canyon Rd from Hwy 128 to the end of the road, including Pleasure Cove Resort
  • Chiles Pope Valley Road from Lower Chiles Valley Road to Pope Canyon Road.
  • Highway 121 (Monticello Road) - from Wooden Valley Road to Silverado Trail
  • Pope Valley Road - From Aetna Springs Road to Chiles Pope Valley Road
  • Aetna Springs Road - From Pope Valley to the dead end
  • Butts Canyon Road - from Aetna Springs Road to the Lake County line
  • James Creek Road - from Butts Canyon Road to the dead end

Evacuation Warning:

  • Highway 128 at Silverado Trail to Chiles Pope Valley Road, including the Pritchard Hills Area
  • Highway 128 at Lower Chiles Valley Road to Turtle Rock

Crews are also battling a fire near Berryessa Knoxville Road, west of Brooks. The Gamble Incident Fire has burned 13,000 acres and is 0% contained right now.

Evacuation Order:

  • All areas on Berryessa Knoxville Rd from Eastside Rd to Hwy 128 at the intersection of Berryessa Knoxville Rd/Hwy 128 (Turttle Rock Bar)
  • Everything West of Lake Berryessa's water edge o Pope Canyon Rd from Pope Valley Rd to Berressa Knoxville Rd. Inclduing Hardin Rd and Including the Sufi Center
  • The intersection on Butts Canyon Road and Snell Valley Road to all all of Berryessa Estates Sub Division.

Evacuation Warning:

Butts Canyon Rd from the Lake County line to James Creek.

Those seeking shelter options can visit the Napa County's evacuation shelter at the Crosswalk Church, 2590 First Street in Napa.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

See more stories and videos related to wildfires here.