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Wine Country fires now 100% contained! But what does that really mean? (versus controlled or out?)

Full containment reached on all North San Francisco Bay wildfires

“Contained is good. “Controlled” is better. “Out” is best.

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Scott A. McLean, Deputy Chief,  CAL FIRE / HQ, Chief of Information explained the differences in an email to Wine Industry Insight:

“A fire is contained when it is surrounded on all sides by some kind of boundary but is still burning and has the potential to jump a boundary line.

“The boundary may be a “fire line” which is a strip of area where the vegetation has been removed to deny the fire fuel, or a river, a freeway or some other barrier which is expected to stop the spread of the fire. Hose lines from fire engines may also contribute to a fire being surrounded and contained.

“A fire is controlled when there is no further threat of it jumping a containment line. While crews continue to do mop-up work within the fire lines, the fire fight is over.”

Finally, according to  the National Wildfire Coordinating Group: “a fire is considered ‘out- when NO hot spots are detected within containment lines for at least 48 hours.”

Containment is a measure of the % of the fire perimeter

McLean also sent a PIO map which shows perimeters (a portion of which is reproduced below). Red marks the un-contained  area and and black is contained.


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