UNITED STATES NEWS

Northern California wildfire jumps line, forces evacuations

Jul 28, 2015, 6:01 PM

A helicopter flies away from a burning ridge after dropping water on the Willow Fire near Bass Lake...

A helicopter flies away from a burning ridge after dropping water on the Willow Fire near Bass Lake, Calif., Monday, July 27, 2015. (Eric Paul Zamora/The Fresno Bee via AP)

(Eric Paul Zamora/The Fresno Bee via AP)

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — More than 200 people were ordered from their homes Tuesday when a wildfire jumped a containment line east of California’s Napa Valley wine country in one of several blazes burning across the state.

The week-old fire was given a burst of energy by rising temperatures, wind gusts and low humidity, said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

A smoke plume was visible for miles.

The flare-up in the rugged, steep terrain of Solano County quickly consumed 150 acres. The fire has charred more than 10 square miles and firefighters had it mostly contained, despite the additional area that burned.

“With the winds picking up, they’re challenging us,” Berlant said, adding that firefighters have dug a secondary containment line. “We’re hoping those lines will hold it where it’s at.”

Residents of 136 homes were ordered to leave, said Christine Castillo of the Solano County Sheriff’s Office.

In the Central California foothills, helicopters and air tankers were attacking another fire burning near the tiny wooded communities of Bass Lake and Cascadel Woods north of Fresno.

Residents remained under orders to be prepared to evacuate because of the fire, which has charred nearly 3 square miles.

A boy acknowledged starting the fire by playing with a lighter to burn pine needles, Madera County District Attorney David Linn said, noting the boy tried to smother the fire with his clothes and his family fought it with water.

“As dry as the conditions are in the Sierra now … they couldn’t stop it,” said Linn, declining to identify the boy, who remains at home because of his cooperation and could be charged next week.

In the Sierra Nevada foothills northeast of Sacramento, 50 homes remained evacuated because of a wildfire that ignited Saturday. As many as 1,800 homes were threatened by shifting winds, Berlant said.

Four firefighters were hurt Sunday while battling the wildfire. One had serious, non-life threatening injuries and remains hospitalized.

The firefighter was identified as Matt Aoki, a captain of the Los Padres Hotshots from Los Padres National Forest. Aoki has severe burns on his hands and face. He remained hospitalized at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.

The fire grew overnight to more than 3 square miles.

Temperatures throughout Northern California could hit 108 Wednesday.

California has seen more wildfires this year, but less acreage has been burned thanks to favorable weather and more firefighters who can quickly be dispatched to corral flames, fire officials say.

Since Jan. 1, about 5,200 fires have burned on state and federal lands, according to the U.S. Forest Service. That’s 10 percent more than last year, but the 74,000 acres burned is 6 percent less.

Spurts of unseasonably rainy weather combined with the availability of hundreds of additional firefighters paid for with emergency drought funding have made a big difference, Berlant said.

So far this year, state firefighters have responded to nearly 3,900 blazes — a 41 percent increase from the same period last year, according to Cal Fire. The fires have burned 28 percent less area than last year.

Cal Fire’s map of fire activities showed nine blazes across the state.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

United States News

Associated Press

Paris Hilton backs California bill to bring more transparency to youth treatment facilities

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Paris Hilton joined California state lawmakers Monday to push for legislation aimed at cracking down on the industry that cares for troubled teens by requiring more transparency from youth treatment facilities. The bill supported by the Hilton Hotel heiress and media personality aims to pry open information on how short-term residential […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

California officials sue Huntington Beach over voter ID law passed at polls

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — California officials on Monday sued Huntington Beach over a new law that lets the city require voters to provide identification to cast ballots at the polls starting in 2026. The state’s Attorney General Rob Bonta said the measure approved by voters in the Southern California city of nearly 200,000 people […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Much of central US faces severe thunderstorm threat and possible tornadoes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tens of millions of Americans stretching from Lincoln, Nebraska, to Baltimore could face strong thunderstorms tonight through Wednesday, with tornadoes possible in some states. A large storm system hitting much of the central U.S. over the next few days is expected to bring severe thunderstorms to Kansas and Nebraska on Monday evening, […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Owners of a Colorado funeral home where 190 decaying bodies were found are charged with COVID fraud

DENVER (AP) — The couple who owned a Colorado funeral home — where 190 decaying bodies were discovered last year — have been indicted on federal charges for fraudulently obtaining nearly $900,000 in pandemic relief funds from the U.S. government, according to court documents unsealed Monday. The new federal charges against Jon and Carie Hallford […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Union settles extended strike with Pittsburgh newspaper, while journalists, other unions remain out

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The union that represents a Pittsburgh newspaper’s truck drivers, one of five unions that have been on strike for 18 months, has approved a new contract with the paper’s owners. Four other unions, including one representing the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s journalists and other newsroom employees, have not settled. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said the […]

5 hours ago

...

Sponsored Content by Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Northern California wildfire jumps line, forces evacuations