2016 Fire Season

NSPR aims to be your No. 1 source for the most accurate and comprehensive fire coverage in the North State. Here you will find all of our fire updates, including radio stories, live blogs, aggregated multimedia and more.

Have a fire tip for us? Or photos/video to share? Email nsprnews@csuchico.edu or tweet us @nsprnews.

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The cost of fighting wildfires continues to grow and it's putting a strain on the US Forest Service.

The cost of fighting wildfires has exceeded the funding level congress provided to the Forest Service for six years in a row.

For the first time in more than 100 years, wildfire costs in fiscal year 2015 totaled more than half the federal agency’s budget.

Shaun Donovan is director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Air attack units with the US Forest Service have resumed airdrops on another fire in the Feather River Canyon this morning. Officials said that despite a very active response Monday, the so-called Tobin Fire has burned 375 acres.

The blaze, centered north of State Highway 70, is burning west of Rock Creek and east of Jackass Creek. Officials say the area is heavy with fuel — dead snags still standing after fires struck the same area in 2000 and 2008. Firefighters are being hampered by steep and rugged terrain.

Progress Made On North State Wildfires

Sep 14, 2016

Cal Fire is making forward progress on the many fires that have sparked in the North State over the past few days.

Ongoing since this weekend is the Willard Fire in Susanville. It’s destroyed two homes and four structures and is now more than 2,500 acres in size. It’s now 60 percent contained.

A wildfire in Tehama County is spreading rapidly. The fire, northeast of Red Bluff, had burned 280 acres of grass and brush near Hog Lake. The blaze was first reported shortly after 11 Tuesday morning. Firefighting aircraft have joined the battle. Cal Fire is reporting some progress. 

A wildfire on the Eastern Slope in Lassen County has prompted evacuations as it has grown to 2,500 acres.

The Willard Fire has forced mandatory evacuations of Gold Run, Hidden Hills, Cheney Creek east of Devil’s Corral. An evacuation advisory has been issued for Susan Hills.

According to Cal Fire, 625 structures are threatened by the blaze.

An evacuation center opened earlier Monday morning at the Community Church of Susanville. Large animals may be brought to the Lassen County Fairgrounds.

It’s been a busy couple of days for fire fighters in Northern California. At least five new fires started over the weekend in the region over the weekend – many were in the North State.

According to Cal Fire, the largest started late Sunday morning in Lassen County off Willard Creek Road west of Susanville. Dubbed the Willard Fire, it’s still estimated to be 2,500 acres in size. Current containment is unknown.

As of now Cal Fire reports mandatory evacuations for that fire are in effect for Cheney Creek near Highway 36.

Cal Fire units are responding to a just reported vegetation fire near Oroville. According to Cal Fire’s Butte County unit, the fire is centered on the 100 block of Lakeland Boulevard. A witness reported seeing thick smoke and structure in flames. 

Friday Fire Update: Saddle Fire, Gap Fire

Sep 9, 2016
Butte County Cal Fire

A total of 400 firefighters continue fighting Butte County’s Saddle Fire, which is now considered 70 percent contained. All evacuations have been lifted, all shelters closed and all roads have reopened.  

The fire remains at 850 acres in size. The cause of the blaze has been traced to a vehicle with a faulty exhaust system. The fire at one time, came close to threatening the city of Paradise and its 25,000 residents.

Chico FD

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.

Firefighters streamed into the Trinity Alps throughout the day Thursday, joining the battle against the large Gap Fire in Siskiyou County. Authorities, who have been fighting the growing conflagration since Saturday, estimate that it is 10 percent contained.

More than 1,800 firefighters have been deployed. The fire’s cause remains unknown and under investigation. The fire has burned through more than 18,000 acres. Officials say the fire is particularly tenacious as it is burning through an area where fires have been successfully suppressed for many years.

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