News From the Farm | July 2, 2018

The County fire started just a little bit after 2:00pm on Saturday afternoon just down the highway from Full Belly Farm, and within 30 hours had spread to more than 44 thousand acres.  It was mesmerizing to watch the flames and the dramatic drops of water and fire suppressants as the fire moved erratically, following the wind.  

Planes and helicopters circled around the smoke, looking very tiny next to the massive, billowing clouds and black plumes that jumped from one hot spot to another.  From the highway we watched many dozens of busloads full of fire-fighters from neighboring counties, on their way to make fire breaks by hand in the incredibly hot, smoky, hilly terrain. 

On Monday morning, the CalFire web site says, “The fire remained active overnight, with fire running up steep terrain.  The fire is burning in tall grass, brush and dense oak.  Extreme fire behavior is still being observed.”  The first evacuations were down the Valley, close to where the fire started, but late on Sunday afternoon, with unpredictable winds, the fire was threatening most of the small towns of the Capay Valley and a mandatory evacuation was called for the west side, all the way up to and including our home town of Guinda.

Full Belly Farm is on the creek (east) side of the Valley, well protected by green, irrigated fields.  But our farm was full of dozens of summer campers and counselors and we made the hard decision to stop camp activities and drive them all to Winters where they could get home out of the smoke.  The camper evacuation went smoothly, thanks to a coordinated effort by farmers, campers, and our Camp Director. 

As of Monday morning, we are watching the fire carefully, sending thanks to our fire fighters, hoping that the damage to wildlife has not been too great.  We have heard that so far, no structures have burned down.  Thank you all for your well wishes.

— Judith Redmond

Map of the Capay Valley, showing where the fire is burning.