wildfires

Adia White

How many ways can you start a wildfire? You may be surprised that nearly all fires are human caused. That could mean they were started by arson, but many happen by accident. Anything from a chain dragging on the ground to a lawnmower spark can start a wildfire.

courtesy of CAL FIRE

Experts who study fire activity say conditions suggest more wildfires than last year are in store with fire danger just about everywhere in the North State.

Officials are expecting even more wildfires than usual through this year’s fire season, as a combination of a relatively dry winter and late rains have created heightened risks across the North State, and the rest of California.

It may be mid-winter, but Cal Fire officials are urging the public to prepare for the blazing days of summer and fall. And fire season is no joke.

California fire victims have asked for nearly $12 billion in reimbursement from insurance companies just from fires occurring between October and December, according to figures released Wednesday by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

Rebecca and Glenn Kyler

It’s still impossible to say how many homes have been destroyed in the Cascade Fire, which started in the community of Loma Rica Sunday night.

Cal Fire Public Information officer Mary Eldrige says they are hoping to send crews in to assess the damage soon, but the conditions are still too dangerous.

“Considering the treacherous conditions on the fire, our folks that have been sent in to assess,  it’s just too dangerous (for them)," she said. "We have downed power lines, we have active fire, we have falling trees, limbs, that sort of thing.”

Deer Creek resources

Updated 10/11/17 at 9:39 a.m.

A state of emergency has been declared in eight counties in California where wildfires have claimed the life of at least 17 people, including one person in Yuba County who was trying to evacuate from the Cascade Fire, according to Yuba County spokesperson Russ Brown.

Calmer winds and lower temperatures have helped firefighters battle the many active wildfires raging across California, but conditions are expected to worsen significantly.

NWS Sacramento

Updated 9/25 at 3:14 p.m.

Caltrans has partially reopened State Highway 32 east of Chico where a brush fire of between 50 and 60 acres is burning in the Big Chico Creek drainage.

The fire is burning just east of the upper end of Bidwell Park, in the vicinity of the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve northeast of Altatina Drive.

Traffic is being escorted through the fire area in a single lane. Drivers should expect delays.

Cal Fire says its firefighters are responding to two new fires in the Sierra foothills this afternoon. 

In an alert released on social media, Cal Fire’s Shasta-Trinity Unit said firefighters are en route to an approximately 15-20-acre fire burning near the Pit River, several miles upstream from Big Bend. The lightning sparked fire is located inside the burn scar of the 2009 Chalk Fire. Firefighting aircraft are currently making air drops while ground crews hike into the remote and rugged area.  

North State Fire Update: Sept. 11

Sep 11, 2017
CIIMT3

The Helena and nearby Fork fires, burning near Weaverville, together cover more than 20,000 acres.

Fire activity is expected to increase over the next few days due to warmer weather and firefighters will concentrate on maintaining and extending fire lines and providing structure protection. More than 1,300 personnel are on scene, with approximately 43% containment. A forest closure order is in effect for National Forest Lands affected by these fires. 

Updated 9/8 at 1:04 p.m.

Some residents evacuated due to the Helena fire in Trinity County began returning home to the Junction City area, after the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office lifted evacuation orders at noon.  

Evacuation orders remain in place for homes along: Canyon Creek Road, Valdor Road, Powerhouse Road, Upper Road and Lower Road.  

Updated 9/3 at 9:04 a.m.

The Ponderosa fire burning in the Sierra foothills of Butte County has grown to nearly 4,000 acres. It is now considered 56 percent contained, according to the latest update from Cal Fire. 

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