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

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

Chico - The wildfire in Stilson Canyon east of Chico has grown to 6,000 acres and is 10 percent contained.

Smoke from the fire is visible from the college town and is filling the air with the acrid smell of charred brush. The smoke added a cryptic haze to the sunrise Thursday.

Chico hotels were flooded Wednesday night with evacuees and fire crews. Firefighters were hoping to snag a few hours of sleep before heading out to battle the blaze in the early morning light.


Firefighters are concerned about winds worsening the fire.

Don Carter, a battalion chief for the Sutter Creek Fire Department, which is part of an Amador County strike team responding to the fire, arrived around midnight in Chico.

Carter anticipates windy conditions and high temperatures could make firefighting efforts more difficult.

"We just have to eyes and ears open to weather changes," he said.

An evacuation shelter has been set up at the Neighborhood Church on Notre Dame Boulevard in Chico.

Small animals can be taken to the Butte County Search and Rescue building on Morrow Lane in Chico.

Large animals may be taken to the Chico State farm, located at 311 Nicholas C. Schouten Lane, Chico.


*****

From Rachael Bogert:

The wildfire in Stillson Canyon, off of Highway 32, had burned 3,500 acres as of 7 p.m. today and has not been not contained.

Roughly 250 structures are threatened and one injury has been reported. The fire's cause is still under investigation.

Evacuations are in place for Honey Run Road, Zinfandel Road, Pam Court and Doe Mill Ridge up to Conejo and Neal roads and Wayland Road south.

The Neighborhood Church, 2801 Notre Dame Blvd., in Chico will serve as an evacuation center.


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