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Grass fire in American Canyon

A vegetation fire broke out at about 3:10 p.m. in the hilly grasslands east of American Canyon, forcing the closure of American Canyon Road near Interstate 80.

Firefighters with Cal Fire and the American Canyon Fire District planned to spend Monday mopping up a grass fire that exploded to 526 acres Sunday afternoon on the slopes overlooking American Canyon.

The fire triggered evacuation advisories and road shutdowns for several hours in the northeast corner of the Vintage Ranch development in American Canyon, according to Cal Fire.

Shortly after 7 p.m., the fire's spread was stopped and American Canyon roads reopened. On Monday afternoon, Cal Fire said the fire was 80 percent contained.

Earlier, American Canyon Road was closed from Via Firenze east to Interstate 80, which passes through a small notch of south Napa County.

The city of American Canyon reported at mid-day Monday that Newell Open Space was closed to the public and Newell Drive, north of Donaldson Way, was also still closed. 

The American Fire was first called in at about 3:10 p.m., and flames and smoke were reported on hilly grasslands off the 2300 block of American Canyon Road, according to the California Highway Patrol. The resulting smoke plume was visible from the city of Napa about 10 miles north.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known. One structure was destroyed, Cal Fire said.

More than 170 firefighters from Cal Fire, Vallejo Fire, the American Canyon Fire Protection District, Napa City Fire, Napa County Fire and numerous other departments from Northern California helped battle the fire.

Temperatures reached the high 80s and wind gusts topped 20 mph Sunday afternoon as the fire grew, according to Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean.

The American Canyon Fire District said the fire was a good reminder for residents to sign up for Nixle alerts. Text your ZIP code to 888-777 and you will be signed up. 

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City Editor

Kevin has been city editor since September 2010. He joined the Register in 1973 as a reporter. He covered Napa City Hall and assorted other beats over the years. Kevin has been writing his Napa Journal column on Sundays since 1989.