Smoke forces highway closure

The Associated Press
Thursday June 14, 2001

VACAVILLE — Smoke from a fire near Interstate 505 caused two multiple-car accidents, closed the highway to traffic and forced the evacuation of a mobile home park in northern Solano County Wednesday. 

Black smoke from the blaze limited visibility, contributing to the 13-car and eight-car pileups. Several people suffered minor injuries in the crashes, said California Highway Patrol Supervisor Kin Ho. 

Firefighters battled windy conditions along with the flames, but the fire was controlled Wednesday night, said a spokeswoman from the Solano County Dispatch Center. 

“The key point is that these winds cause fires to move,” said Vacaville Fire Department battalion chief Gerald Skinner. 

The fire began at about 1:30 p.m. in a grove of eucalyptus trees north of Allendale in an area called Gandy Dancer, Ho said. The fire then spread to several other areas. 

The fire divided into 25 different blazes, scorching a total of 200 to 300 acres, but no structures were threatened, the dispatch spokeswoman said. 

CHP officials closed I-505 between Interstate 80 and the town of Winters.  

Both lanes of traffic on I-80 north of Vacaville were moved to eastbound lanes. The fire extended to the factory stores area of Orange Drive near the Vacaville city limits.