Sacto 9-1-1
August 18, 2013
American Fire grows to nearly 13,000 acres; Swedes Fire threatens 700 structures near Oroville

Bee staff

Firefighters continue to battle the growing American Fire - on Deadwood Ridge eight miles from Foresthill - that has consumed nearly 13,000 acres, federal and state fire agencies reported this morning.

Besides the American Fire, the state's attention is focusing on a fire in Butte County in which 700 structures are threatened and evacuations are planned.

The American Fire is 45 percent contained, but its located in steep and hazardous terrain has made establishing perimeters difficult, officials said.

No populated areas are threatened, officials reported, but the heavy brush and other fuels have created large amounts of smoke, creating a significant issue for the Sierra foothills, Tahoe, and Sacramento Valley.

Various counties have issued air quality warnings.

Officials warn those planning to visit campgrounds and other recreation sites that they may encounter heavy smoke.

Those conditions are expected to last for several days.

The .dry fuel and steep slopes is expected to create what officials describe as "moderate to extreme fire behavior.

Portions of the Foresthill Divide road are closed, and portions of the National forest System land near the fire are off limits.

Meanwhile, CalFire reports that more than 5,000 firefighters from state, federal and local support groups are battling 10 major wildfires across California, including some in which structures are threatened.

The Swedes Fire southeast of Oroville has consumed 1,850 acres and is 20 percent contained, CalFire reported today.

So far, the fire has destroyed one residential structure, a garage and numerous vehicles.

Neighborhood off of Swedes Flat Road and Oro Bangor Highway have been evacuated.

An evacuation center has been set up at the Church of the Nazarene, 2238 Monte Vista Ave., in Oroville.

In addition, the North Valley Animal Disaster Group is helping with animal evacuations. Small animals will be housed at 2279 Del Oro Ave. (Old County Hospital) and large animals and small livestock will be housed at 1985 Clark Road (Camelot).

Compounding firefighters' concerns is the possibility of lightning strikes.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag warning because of the chance of dry lightning and gusty winds for coastal counties between Mendocino and Monterey. The warning could be in effect through Wednesday.

A fire weather watch for lightning has been issued starting Monday for most foothill and mountain communities in Nothern California. Dry thunderstorms are forecast, and rain, if any, isn't expected until mid-week, CalFire reports.

Here is CalFire's summary of the major wildfires in the state besides the Swedes Fire and the American Fire.

Bridges Fire, Calaveras County)

Southeast of Vallecito, near New Melones Lake

• 60 acres - 35% contained

Double Fire, Lake County

North of Hwy 20 near Clear Lake Oaks

• 70 acres - 80% contained

• Federal Fires•

Rim Fire Tuolumne County

US Forest Service - Stanislaus National Forest

northeast of Groveland

• 200 acres - 0% contained

Cleghorn Fire, San Bernardino County

US Forest Service - San Bernardino National Forest

Interstate 15 in the Cajon Pass

• 110 acres - 45% contained

Orleans Complex, Siskiyou County

US Forest Service - Six Rivers National Forest

10 miles east of Somes Bar

• 15,446 acres - 24% contained

Salmon River Complex, Siskiyou County

US Forest Service - Klamath National Forest

1 mile west of Sawyers Bar

• 13,002 acres - 80% contained

Corral Complex, Humboldt County

US Forest Service - Six Rivers National Forest

east of the Hoopa Indian Reservation

• 3,900 acres - 0% contained

Aspen Fire, Fresno County

US Forest Service - Sierra National Forest

near Huntington Lake

• 22,546 acres - 90% contained

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