Butte County Fire Grows Overnight, Some Evacuations Lifted

The so-called Ponderosa Fire has burned 3,680 acres (1,490 hectares) and destroyed 20 homes in Butte County, prompting authorities to issue evacuation orders to residents of some 500 homes in the area.

Fire crews battling a wildfire that has destroyed 10 homes near the Northern California town of Oroville were able to slow its growth overnight.

Officials said while investigating the cause of the fire, Ballenger walked back into the campsite and admitted to CAL FIRE investigators that he started the fire.

The Marlborough fire races up a hill from where it started on Thursday Aug. 31 2017 in Riverside
The Marlborough fire races up a hill from where it started on Thursday Aug. 31 2017 in Riverside

The fire, nine-miles northeast of Oroville, is zero percent contained and expected to expand further north, according to Cal Fire. Ballenger could face up to seven years and eight months in prison if convicted. The public defender's office could not be reached for comment.

The fire east of Oroville was initially reported at 1:16 p.m. Tuesday at Ponderosa Way and Lumpkin Road, two miles northwest of Forbestown in an area east of Lake Oroville.

Officials said Ballenger is suspected of recklessly starting a campfire outside of a designated campground and allowing it to escape.

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Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said Friday prosecutors believe Ballenger had been maintaining for days a campfire along a creek known as Sucker Run near the dam at Ponderosa Reservoir.

The Los Angeles Fire Department has issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents in Burbank as a raging brush fire threatens their 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.

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The fire sparked Tuesday afternoon as a heatwave blankets much of California.

In Montana, Gov. Steve Bullock on Friday declared a state of disaster due to wildfires as dozens raged across tens of thousands of acres during one of the worst fire seasons in state history.

"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".

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(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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