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Residents breathe sigh of relief as Quail Fire reaches 90% containment

Quail Fire: Firefighters continue to mop-up a wildfire near Vacaville
Quail Fire: Firefighters continue to mop-up a wildfire near Vacaville 02:31

VACAVILLE (CBS SF) -- A weed whacker may have sparked a large wildfire just north of Vacaville, forcing Cal Fire to issue an evacuation order to dozens of families on Saturday afternoon.

Cal Fire said on Monday morning that the Quail Fire had burned approximately 135 acres and was 90 percent contained.

All evacuations have been lifted. Firefighters will work overnight into Monday, strengthening containment lines and extinguishing hot spots.

The fire started at 3:14 p.m. Saturday at Quail Canyon Road and Pleasant Valley Road, southwest of Winters and north of Vacaville.

"It's been an emotional day to say the least," said neighbor Kim Nalley.

Kim and her husband Tim Nalley lost their home of 17 years in the LNU Fire in August of 2020.  Saturday's fire burned pretty close to their new home that was under construction and set to complete at the end of this year.

"I smelled the fire before I saw it," Tim Nalley told KPIX. "I looked over, I could see the smoke coming right over that hill."

Nally said he ran over to help to put the fire out.  Once firefighters arrived, Tim used his bulldozer to cut a fire line around his family property.

"We got lucky, the wind was blowing in our favor," he said.

"We were more than a little worried," Kim said. "Very thankful it didn't get very far."

Cal Fire used multiple choppers to drop water on the flames and air tankers to drop pink fire retardant to stop the fire from advancing toward homes.

Officials said this was one of the bigger fires they've seen this year.

While firefighters were still investigating the cause, many neighbors said a new resident hired a crew to cut the dry grass on a property.  And they said a weed whacker sparked the fire.  Cal Fire said it could not confirm that.

"He didn't intend to (start a fire), I know that." Kim said. "But it's hard, the emotions are still right there. I'm grateful, thankful. There can't be any room for anger and that sort of thing."

A Solano County Sheriff's Department source told KPIX one person was cited for using the weed whacker.  That same person was also arrested for an existing unrelated arrest warrant.

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