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The latest on major Northern California news events from the Bee newsroom.

June 11, 2008
Update on fire near Chico
From Chelsea Phua:

From 750 to 1,000 residents along Honey Run Road and its surrounding areas have been ordered to evacuate their homes due to a wildfire in Stillson Canyon, off Highway 32.

The Humboldt fire has burned 2600 acres since it started at 12:13 p.m. Wednesday and is not contained, said Cindy Wilson, a Cal Fire/Butte County Fire information officer.

About 250 homes are currently being threatened along Honey Run Road. Many of the homes are large ranches with animals.
June 11, 2008
Salvation Army helping out
Update: The Sacramento Sierra Chapter of the American Red Cross is planning to close the shelter at Sheldon High School for victims of the Jackson Highway fire at 12 p.m. Thursday.

Red Cross volunteers and staff will continue to provide other services as needed, states a news release.

*****

The Salvation Army has deployed volunteers, mobile canteens and disaster crews to help assist firefighters and fire victims.

Volunteers have set up a mobile cafeteria on Gerber Road near the scene of the Jackson Highway fire, which near Jackson and Excelsior Roads. The facility will serve dinner, snacks and drinks to first responders, disaster workers and fire survivors, a Salvation Army news release states.

Volunteers and monetary donations are needed to help fire survivors. For more information, go to www.tsatoday.org or call (800) SAL-ARMY.
June 11, 2008
Latest on injured Lincoln firefighters
From Bill Lindelof:

At a press briefing involving the three burned firefighters on the outskirts of Lincoln, fire officials were guarded in their comments about the incident, declining to give names of the injured or exactly how it occurred.

Offiicials explained Wednesday afternoon that the investigation in the blaze was continuing and families had not been informed of the incident.

The media was led by a Cal Fire battalion chief into a field next to burned pasture where they could get a closer look Wednesday afternoon at two burned out wildland firefighting rigs. The rigs were at the edge of a 65 acres of burned grassland under a windbreak of spindly eucalyptus trees, that could have supplied extra fuel for the fire that scorched the dry rangeland.

Hours after the fire broke out, smoke was still coming from the rigs and tires were burned off rims of the specially built engines designed to move quickly across rugged terrain with their load of flame-killing water.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Brand said the fire broke out at about 10 a.m. and that the engines were overrun by fire. Two firefighters went by aircraft to the hospital the other in an ambulance.

The fire is contained and a Cal Fire investigation team is starting to "put the pieces of the puzzle together," said Brand. He described the firefighters injuries as "non life threatening."

He said the winds and dry grass made the fire dangerous. Cause of the fire has not been determined.

"A burnover is a wildland fire department term in which personnel are overran by fire," he said. "By definition it is where the firefighters are entrapped and the fire overruns them. I can't comment on the tactics they were deploying or how it occurred but we are referring to it as a burnover."
June 11, 2008
Lincoln Fire: 2 from Cal Fire, 1 volunteer injured
Update: A Cal Fire spokesman said two of the firefighters injured in the Lincoln blaze were veteran firefighters with Cal Fire and the third was a volunteer with the Placer County Fire Department.

Cal Fire public information officer Daniel Berlant said that two of the firefighters had moderate to severe facial and arm burns. The third was released from the hospital after treatment for minor facial burns.

*****

Fire officials won't release the identities of the firefighters injured while fighting the fire in Lincoln, but a news release by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office identified them as being Cal Fire firefighters.

"I commend our brave firefighters for aggressively fighting these fires across the state, and my heart goes out to the three Cal Fire firefighters who have been injured," Gov. Schwarzenegger stated in a news release.

The two taken to UC Davis suffered moderate to severe burns to the face and arms and the third is being treated for minor facial burns at Sutter Roseville Medical Center, the release states.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also directed more resources to Cal Fire and the Office of Emergency Services and activated two retardant-dropping aircraft Wednesday to help fight the early wildfires throughout the state.

Cal Fire activated 1,227 Cal Fire personnel and deployed 167 fire engines, 51 crews, seven air tankers, 22 bulldozers and eight helicopters. Emergency services deployed one Operational Area Satellite Information System (OASIS) trailer with phone, data and communications to a 4,200-acre fire in Monterey County. The department also deployed four of five new wildland fire engines - which Schwarzenegger unveiled last week - to an 800-acre fire in Tuolumne County.

"Time and again, our history has demonstrated that we must move early, have the resources available and work together to fight these fires and keep people safe," Schwarzenegger stated in the release.

Four "significant fires" are burning throughout the state:

  • The Indians Fire has burned 4,200 acres in the Los Padres National Forest. It is 10 percent contained.
  • The Ophir Fire has burned 1,600 acres near Palermo, south of Oroville in Butte County. It is 60 percent contained.
  • The La Grange Fire has burned 800 acres in the area of Cooperstown and La Grange in Tuolumne County. It is 30 percent contained.
  • The Pine Fire has burned 860 acres in Sonoma County. It is 80 percent contained.

For more fire information, go to www.oes.ca.gov or http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/incidents/incidents_current.




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