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Independent Voice

Lightning Strikes

Aug 19, 2020 12:00AM ● By MPG Staff

Fire from Silveyville Road looking towards Lake Berryessa. Photo by Tye McDaniel

Lightning Strikes [5 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

Fire Evacuees, Livestock Pack Dixon Mayfair

DIXON, CA (MPG) - The strange thunder and lightning we saw Sunday did far more than spark our interest, it also sparked multiple fires in the nearby hills of Lake Berryessa. Fueled by winds and record-breaking scorching heat, the fire has now charred more than 46,000 acres in Sonoma, Lake, Napa, and Solano counties.

The flames advanced on the ranches in Vacaville hills and on the countryside of Berryessa Tuesday night and into the predawn hours sending residents rushing to load up horses and flee. By press time Wednesday, the LNU Lightning Complex Fire is sending hundreds of evacuees into Dixon.

Local business owners, Karstin and Joe Feinhandler, posted how they escaped with their animals and only the clothes on their backs as the fire approached quickly about 1 am. They were able to drive out a couple of their cars but not enough drivers for their teen’s car which was pictured nearly disintegrated with tires melted.

They got to their office in Dixon and loaded dogs in one office with cats in another. They tied the horses to the trees in the business parking lot and two sons, Cameron and Tyler Hickerson, used the horse trailer to go back to help other neighbors.

As soon as the post hit the screen, City Councilman Devon Minnema called Brian Buckhout of the California Office of Emergency Services to find out about opening the Mayfair for RVs and campers. The next call was to City Manager Jim Lindley for a letter requesting the Mayfair to open as an Evacuation Center, which Lindley promptly sent to CalOES.

The Mayfair had already been open for livestock and he reached out to find out what kind of animals they had and then coordinated donations of goat food and shavings for livestock bedding. Taking a drive out to the Walmart parking lot afterwards, Minnema, sporting a bullhorn, let evacuees know about the Mayfair. 

There were also evacuees at Safeway and on Ary Lane. A woman with a truckload of pigs was delighted to hear the news and headed off to the Mayfair.