Firefighters gain upper hand on Northern California wildfires

#MonticelloFire now 55% contained, has burned 6,488 acres; nearly 2,000 firefighters assigned

Firefighters gained the upper hand overnight on a wildfire burning in Northern California that has so far scorched nearly 6,500 acres, officials reported.

The Monticello fire was 55% contained as of Tuesday morning after igniting on Friday along the southeast shore of Lake Berryessa near the Monticello Dam and Highway 128. Nearly 2,000 firefighters were battling the fire with the help of four tanker aircraft and 16 helicopters, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

As the fire burned north, away from homes and into rugged, steep terrain, access to the area was limited, Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant told The Times.

The 6,488-acre wildfire is about 18 miles from the Butts fire, which on Tuesday was 95% contained after burning for more than a week in northern Napa County.

The fire has charred some 4,300 acres since starting July 1 off Butts Canyon Road in Pope Valley,  and has destroyed. two homes and seven outbuildings.

The causes of both fires remained under investigation.

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