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.

Ways to Connect

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.”

Wildfires in Oregon and northwestern California are causing significant air quality issues today.  

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued air quality alerts, declaring the air in Del Norte and parts of Trinity and Siskiyou Counties as "unhealthy."   

A lower level alert has also been issued for parts of Shasta County where the air quality is considered unsafe for sensitive groups. People are urged to avoid strenuous outdoor activity and to set air conditioners to recirculate if possible. 

Minerva Fire Burns Near Quincy, Polluting Air

Aug 3, 2017
Cal Fire

The Minerva fire continues to burn south of Quincy. The wildfire that started Saturday has now burned 1,700 acres and is now 30 percent contained.

While no evacuations have been ordered for the Minerva fire, the National Forest Service is asking Quincy residents to prepare for the possibility. Meanwhile those living in the area have to cope with another danger — haze.

Sam Longmire is the air pollution control specialist with the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management district.

Cal Fire

Authorities in Chico responded quickly Wednesday afternoon as a brush fire erupted on the eastern edge of town, spreading across 150 acres. 

The fire spread quickly through dry grass and shrubs near the California Park area and was 50 percent contained by nightfall.  

Aaron Lowe, a division chief with the Chico Fire Department, said officials are still trying to figure out how it started. “The ignition source of the fire is under investigation, we’re still determining the origin and cause,” he said. 

Adia White

Cal Fire Butte County is reporting on Twitter that forward progress has been stopped in the 100-acre brush fire burning east of the California Park area of Chico, and that evacuation warnings have been lifted.  They say the fire is now 30 percent contained.

Evacuation warnings were previously in place for Stilson Canyon Road, Summit Ridge Terrace and Siena Ridge Loop.

There is a road closure on Highway 32 between Bruce Road and about 3 and half miles eastward to the intersection with Humboldt Road.

Cal Fire

Firefighters continue surveying the damage and are beginning to mop up after a wind-whipped wildfire exploded across the Happy Valley area of Shasta County west of Anderson Tuesday.  

Cal Fire Public Information Officer Suzi Brady confirmed that five homes were utterly destroyed and two other buildings were significantly damaged despite an overwhelming response by local, state and federal firefighters backed by air tankers and helicopters dropping water and retardant.  

Two-thirds of the Redding Fire Department was helping out on the Laverne Fire in Happy Valley Tuesday. 

Six of the city’s nine engines were deployed to the Happy Valley incident. Chief Gerry Gray says that with resources running thin, more and more agencies are relying on each other to provide mutual aid. We wanted to know what would have happened if a major incident broke out in the city of Redding at the same time.

Gray says Redding sent resources specifically to protect the city as the fire burned to the north.

A fire burning in Shasta County's Happy Valley has grown from 60 acres to 150 acres and is 20 percent contained, according to the official Twitter account of Cal Fire’s Shasta Trinity Unit & the Shasta County Fire Department. A total of five structures have been destroyed. 

An evacuation center has been opened at Happy Valley Elementary School, 17480 Palm Avenue in Anderson. That’s at the intersection with Happy Valley Road.

Pages