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More homeowners ordered to flee their houses as fire swept through the Sierra foothills above Oroville are bracing for the worst. Cal Fire officials have significantly raised their estimate of the number of homes consumed by the still burning Wall Fire. 

According to Cal Fire, 41 single-family homes, 46 backyard sheds and other outbuildings and two commercial structures were utterly destroyed by the fire, first reported Friday afternoon.  

Another three homes and seven outbuildings were significantly damaged.  

Nearly 4,000 people are still unable to return home as the Wall Fire continues to scorch over 5,600 acres east of Oroville. Reporter Adia White tells us what services are available to those who were forced to evacuate.

There are around 118 evacuees at the Church of the Nazarene in Oroville, and shelter manager Pam Dedich says they still have room for more.  

“We have a lot of beds left, and we also still have a lot of facilities that we have registered and been approved with, and we would put that out to the community if we needed to expand,” she said.

photo by Rob Eves

Today we’re joined by Los Angeles indie-rock band TV Heads. Before relocating from Northern California to pursue music full-time in LA, lead singers Sean Galloway and Angelica Tavella were already well-known for their past musical projects. Tavella performed for years under the name Nyx, and founded the Oakland record label OIM Records. Galloway’s prior band The Shimmies is beloved by many here in Chico, and he went on to write songs under the name Ave Grave. While on tour together with their solo projects, Tavella and Galloway realized it made more sense to just start a band together. 

Tremendous efforts by firefighters battling through the night, have paid some dividends in Butte County where Cal Fire is reporting the explosive Wall Fire near Oroville now 35 percent contained.  

Cal Fire spokeswoman Mary Eldridge said that major concerns remain. 

“We’ve got 5,400 structures that are threatened, meaning that they are in the path of the fire," she said. "Of Structures destroyed, our current count is 17, and structures damaged is five.” 

Despite the destruction however, there are signs that fire crews are beginning to turn the corner. 

Author and photographer Douglas Keister has a new book of architecture, Storybook Style: America's Whimsical Homes of the 1920s, which features five homes in Chico. He also writes novels, and his latest, The Sleepy Hollow Mystery, is the third in his Chick Corbett series. This week join Nancy for a conversation with prolific author Douglas Keister.

We talk with Dr. Stephen Cummins (director of University Public Engagement at Chico State) about his new role as head of the Chico Arts Commission, an organization that makes arts-funding recommendations to the city council and promotes the marketing of Chico as an arts & culture destination. We also visit Riverfront Playhouse in Redding to talk with directors & actors from the theatre's double-bill of one-act plays.

In this episode, Dave talks to Dr. Gordon Telepun. An Alabama plastic surgeon, Gordon's other passion is chasing eclipses. Based on his experiences with eclipse photography in Africa, Gordon saw the need to develop an eclipse timing device and did it himself. Now he has taken that concept and turned it into an app for both iPhones and Android devices. It lets you know when significant events are going to happen from wherever you are along the eclipse path using GPS. It is designed to help rather than distract you -- you rarely have to do anything with the phone other than wake it up. Then Gordon's voice let's you know what to look for and when! But better than the app itself is Gordon's infectious enthusiasm about the Great American Eclipse coming on August 21.

  

 

Over the past year of Cultivating Place interviews, we’ve heard references to the importance of the Smithsonian Gardens archives for the research of such historians, writers and gardeners as Marta McDowell while writing "All the President’s Gardens", as Andrea Wulf while she was writing "Founding Gardeners" and "The Invention of Nature", and as Ryder Ziebarth as she was working to document and preserve 5 generations of her family working and gardening on one piece of land. 

Photo by Srikanth Jandhyala

This is also high season for the all-American road trip. And there’s one supremely scenic road you need to visit—or revisit—this summer, even if your only trip is a quickie to Southern California, to check in with family and friends. Skip the mind-numbing thrum of I-5 and go the back way instead—US Route 395, sometimes still known as the Three Flags Highway. Those “three flags” would be Canada, the US, and Mexico, because the original route ran from San Diego near the Mexican border to British Columbia, taking in big-sky stretches of California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington along the way. 

We talk with Simone Senat whose paintings  (currently showing at Beautiful Life Furnishings in Chico) depict the brilliantly colorful houses she saw on her trip to Chile. We also talk with Karma Boyer whose fine-art photography (which are now on display at the Orland Art Center) captures arresting visions gathered during her journies through the U.S., Europe & India.

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