All Saddle Fire Evacuations To Be Lifted; 50% Containment Achieved

Sep 7, 2016

Updated 4:22 p.m. Sept. 7

The size of the 850-acre Saddle Fire in Butte County has not increased in 24 hours, and significant progress has been made by fire crews to strengthen containment — now at 50 percent.

One evacuation order remains in place for both sides of Pentz Road between Lago Vista Way on the south edge of Paradise and Mesilla Valley Road in Butte Valley. All evacuations will be lifted by 6 p.m. Wednesday.

An evacuation shelter at the Neighborhood Church in Chico remains open.

The number of firefighters on scene surged Wednesday to more than 1,600, a more than five-fold increase from the 300 firefighters confronting the blaze Monday. Crews are being backed by 10 helicopters. Three hundred structures remain threatened. 

A total of five fires started Monday afternoon on Pentz Road near Lime Saddle Road and rapidly grew in size. The fires are burning on both sides of the West Branch of the Feather River, southeast of Paradise and west of Concow. According to Cal Fire, three structures so far have been destroyed.

In the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area, the North Thermalito Forebay and Lime Saddle campground, marina and day use areas are closed until further notice.

Smoke produced by the fire has greatly affected air quality in much of the valley. Air district officials are warning that air quality in Chico and Paradise as unhealthy for sensitive groups. A small animal shelter is located at 2279 Del Oro Ave Oroville. A large animal shelter is available at Camelot 1985 Clarke Road.