Northern California wildfires force evacuations


Thousands of people have been driven from their homes in OR and hundreds in California, where a blaze burned 10 homes and threatened 500 more near a hard-hit community and another kept a popular road to Yosemite National Park closed.

Authorities said at least 10 houses and 20 outbuildings have been destroyed, and urged residents in vulnerable areas to evacuate into shelters.

Bureau of Land Management spokesman John Gaffney told the Reno Gazette-Journal on Friday that the fire had burned 83 square miles and was spreading in all directions, fueled by volatile cheat grass.

Flames from the Ponderosa Fire burn a home east of Oroville, Calif., on August 29, 2017.

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It was not immediately clear how many homes could be threatened by the wildfire.

The fire that started Wednesday night for unknown reasons is burning out of control in extreme heat and very dry conditions.

About 1,300 structures remained threatened by the fire Wednesday. "We are confident the unsurpassed firefighting ability of the Global SuperTanker will be a tremendous asset for CAL FIRE and its team on the ground as they suppress the Ponderosa Fire".

The fire was only 10 percent contained with more than 500 firefighters battling it.

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The pilot and a spokesperson of a Boeing 747 airplane, converted to help blanket wildfires in water and fire retardant, on Thursday confirmed the news many in Eastern Madera County and California were waiting to hear.

All evacuations and road closures that stemmed from the blaze have been lifted.

There are evacuation orders for Lumpkin Road from Forbestown Road to CAL FIRE Station 51, including the community of Feather Falls.

Butte County has set up an evacuation center at the Church of the Nazarene in Oroville, 2238 Monte Vista Ave.

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The Butte County Air Quality Management District warned that the air if the foothills is unhealthy for sensitive populations - the elderly, children and those with chronic lung or heart ailments - due to the smoke from the fire. Image courtesy of Cal Fire.