Ponderosa Fire grows to 3507 acres in Butte County

Javier Howell
September 5, 2017

Governor Brown said he issued the emergency proclamation for Butte County due to the effects of the Ponderosa Fire which has burned thousands of acres, damaged critical infrastructure, destroyed homes and caused the evacuation of residents.

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. "CAL FIRE has long believed in and supported the SuperTanker; we will work tirelessly with them to get the job done in Ponderosa or wherever fire threatens our fellow citizens".

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.

On Wednesday, firefighters battled rapid fire development, risky rates of spread and high temperatures, Cal Fire said.

"We take our responsibility to assess this new tool during the interim approval process very seriously", said Chief Dave Teter, CAL FIRE's Deputy Director of Fire Protection. Ballenger is being held on a $1 million bail.

The latest wildfire is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Oroville Dam, the nation's tallest.

The declaration will free up additional resources to battle the blaze, which erupted on Tuesday from a campfire that was started outside a designated area. Ballenger could face up to seven years and eight months in prison, Ramsey said. The public defender's office could not be reached for comment.

"He had a campfire burning 24-7", the district attorney said.

"The fire has been pushing north onto Middle Fork Feather River", Butte County sheriff's Sgt. Steve Collins said, adding that officials are anxious the fire will spread into areas with more homes.

According to NBC Bay Area, we're also getting smoke from wildfires burning in OR, which is drifting down the coast and blowing in through the Golden Gate.

Nevada National Security Site spokeswoman Tracy Bower said the lightning-sparked fire covered nearly 4 square miles (10 square kilometers), but it wasn't considered a threat to people or buildings.

Other reports by Insurance News

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