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4 firefighters hospitalized battling Crystal Fire in St. Helena near Silverado Trail

Fire crews to remain at Crystal Fire overnight to strengthen containment lines
Fire crews to remain at Crystal Fire overnight to strengthen containment lines 02:41

Four firefighters were hospitalized with injuries while fighting a vegetation fire burning in the Napa County community of St. Helena Wednesday afternoon.

The Crystal Fire began burning around 1:40 p.m. near the 200 block of Crystal Springs Road and the Silverado Trail North, near the Reverie Vineyard and Winery, and the wind pushed it up the hill and over the ridge.

The fire did get close to some homes, but crews were able to save every single one of them. Only one outbuilding was damaged. At the winery, one building was surrounded by charred land and smoke. It had two important features, fire-resistant construction and defensible space.

"The structures that were in the area had their defensible space," said Asst. Chief Mike Wink from Cal Fire's Lake Napa Unit. "So, we talk about ready for wildfire all the time and making sure that you do what you can do to help us. That works out today."

Around 9:40 p.m., fire officials said the Crystal Fire was at 65% containment and that it had burned 60 acres. Cal Fire also reported that five of its firefighters were evaluated for injuries. Four of them were taken to the hospital, while one remained at the scene to recover after on-site treatment.

The fire agency said the injuries were "related to response in the steep, rocky terrain and hot summer conditions." The four firefighters are expected to make full recoveries. 

Cal Fire said it would keep 20 fire engines, one crew and four water tenders at the fire overnight to strengthen containment lines.

Although the area saw warm temperatures, 30% humidity and low 5 mph winds helped fire crews in the containment effort. It was a familiar scene for residents in the area: air tankers dropping fire retardant, helicopters dousing water on the fire and firefighters climbing up the rocky hillside to fight the flames. 

The Crystal Fire started almost in the same area as the Glass Fire in 2020.

Assistant Chief Wink said since the fire was in the Glass Fire burn scar, there wasn't a lot of heavy brush. Although the region experienced two sizable fires just in the last week, this fire season is not expected to be severe.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued an air quality advisory because of the smoke from the Crystal Fire, saying that localized smoke impacts are possible near Angwin and could impact the Napa Valley from St. Helena to Calistoga.

This is a breaking news update. More information to be added as available. 

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