"We don't have those critical burning conditions that we were experiencing those last two nights," he said of Glass Fire raging through Napa and Sonoma counties in western US.
Easing winds have given California firefighters a break as they battled a destructive wildfire that was driven by strong winds through wine country north of San Francisco and another rural blaze that killed three people.
On Tuesday, breezes replaced the powerful gusts that sent the Glass Fire raging through Napa and Sonoma counties on Sunday and Monday, scorching more than 56 square miles.
More than 110 buildings have burned, including homes and winery installations.
The fire in wine country pushed through the brush that had not burned for a century, even though surrounding areas were incinerated in a series of blazes in recent years.
'Do not wait'
As the winds eased on Monday evening, firefighters were feeling "much more confident," said Ben Nicholls, a division chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire.
"We don’t have those critical burning conditions that we were experiencing those last two nights," he said.
The Glass Fire in wine country is one of nearly 30 wildfires burning around California.
The National Weather Service warned that hot, dry conditions with strong Santa Ana winds could continue posing a fire danger in Southern California through Tuesday afternoon.
In a forested far northern part of the state, more than 1,200 people were evacuated in Shasta County for the Zogg Fire.
Three people have died in the fire, Shasta County Sheriff Eric Magrini said Monday. He gave no details but urged people who receive evacuation orders: "Do not wait."
So far in this year’s historic fire season, more than 8,100 California wildfires have killed 29 people, scorched 5,780 square miles and destroyed more than 7,000 buildings.
Anniversary of 2017 fires
The Glass Fire began on Sunday as three fires merged and drove into vineyards and mountain areas, including part of the city of Santa Rosa.
About 70,000 people were under evacuation orders, including the entire 5,000-plus population of Calistoga in Napa County.
The fires came as the region approaches the anniversary of the 2017 fires, including one that killed 22 people.
Just a month ago, many of those same residents were evacuated from the path of a lightning-sparked fire that became the fourth-largest in state history.
Officials did not have an estimate of the number of homes destroyed or burned, but the blaze engulfed the Chateau Boswell Winery in St Helena and at least one five-star resort.