California governor declares state of emergency for wildfire

The fire is burning in extraordinarily steep, rugged country with amazingly thick brush and big trees.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says the blaze about 70 miles (112 kilometers) north of Sacramento had consumed almost 6 square miles (15 square kilometers).

The Ponderosa Fire, burning in Butte County near Lake Oroville since Tuesday afternoon, has grown to over 3,500 acres and has already destroyed 10 homes, with 500 more under threat.

The declaration will free up additional resources to battle the blaze, which erupted on Tuesday from a campfire that was started outside a designated area.

Firefighters are dumping retardant on the blaze and have contained 30% of it but fear new pockets could break out because of the heat.

Cricket ground evacuated as crossbow fired
Oliver Florence, a reporter for our sister title Get Surrey , is at the scene and said he saw armed officers enter the venue. Play between Surrey and Middlesex was suspended as players were told to go inside, before the game was later abandoned.

"The fire has been pushing north onto Middle Fork Feather River", Butte County sheriff's Sgt. Steve Collins said, adding that officials are anxious the fire will spread into areas with more homes.

Lumpkin Road remained under an evacuation order from Forbestown Road to Cal Fire Station 51, including the community of Feather Falls. "The concern is that it will jump over to the north side".

Cal Fire Public Information Office expects a hard fight due to the conditions created from years of drought and the past winter's heavy rain.

Elsewhere in California, more than 1,000 firefighters were able to slow the growth of a almost 5-square-mile wildfire (13-square-kilometer) overnight near the town of Oroville, an area already hard-hit by fire and a massive evacuation earlier this year caused by damage to sections of the nation's tallest dam. Firefighters have had to bulldoze their own way to get to the tough-to-access blaze, and teams hiked in to cut fire lines in an attempt to contain the fire.

Besides the Oroville church shelter, an American Red Cross shelter has been set up at the Ponderosa Community Center, 17103 Ponderosa Way, in Brownsville. Large animals may be taken to the Camelot Equestrian Park, 1985 Clark Road in Oroville.

  • Darren Santiago