2017 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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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. 

More than 1,600 firefighters battling a wildfire in the Sierra foothills east of Oroville appear to be making progress. Following an early morning assessment, Cal Fire says the Ponderosa fire is approximately 30 percent contained. 

The fire, started by an errant campfire, incinerated 20 homes and still threatens 500 more. Officials say the fire has scorched 3,680 acres.

Firefighters continue building fire breaks by hand and with bulldozers. Nine air tankers are also making regular drops.

With 10 homes destroyed, five damaged and 500 remaining threatened, Cal Fire announced the arrest of 29-year-old John Ballenger of Oroville in connection with the outbreak of what’s being called the Ponderosa fire.

Authorities say Ballenger allegedly started an illegal campfire and let it get out of control.

First reported less than 24 hours ago, the blaze is now 2,500 acres and zero percent contained.

Jonathan Coke

A 29-year-old Oroville man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of starting the 2,500-acre Ponderosa Fire burning in the Sierra foothills of Butte County.

According to a Cal Fire press release, John Ballenger is suspected of “recklessly starting a campfire outside a designated campground and allowing it to escape.”

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