Sacto 9-1-1
August 19, 2013
Update: Butte County fire consumes nearly 2,000 acres, American Fire 15,000

Firefighters battling flames in Butte County reached 45 percent containment overnight.

The Swedes Fire has burned 1,995 acres and threatens 400 structures southeast of Oroville. On Monday morning, Cal Fire reported one residential structure, one garage, three outbuildings and multiple vehicles destroyed. More than 20 streets in the neighborhoods around Swede Flat Road and Oro Bangor Highway have been evacuated.

Erratic winds and steep terrain make containment a challenge, Cal Fire officials said.. The fire's dynamic nature means evacuation orders can change rapidly, according to a Cal Fire report.

There's an evacuation center at the Church of the Nazarene, 2238 Monte Vista Ave., in Oroville while the North Valley Animal Disaster Group is handling animal evacuations. Small animals can be brought to 2279 Del Oro Ave. (Old County Hospital) and large animals and small livestock can be brought to 1985 Clark Road (Camelot).

Engines, air tankers, helicopters and 900 personnel are working on the Swedes Fire, which began Friday around 4:37 p.m. The cause is under investigation.

Meanwhile, the American Fire spread overnight. It has now burned 14,765 acres 10 miles northeast of Foresthill and 8 miles south of Interstate 80. The blaze is now 49 percent contained.

The public is invited to an update meeting tonight at the Foresthill Veteran's Memorial Hall (24601 Harrison St., Foresthill) at 7 p.m.

With a chance of thunderstorms in the forecast through Wednesday, firefighters are preparing for possible new sparks and additional complexity. On Monday, the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning, signaling prime conditions for fires to ignite.

Updates from the overnight battle: the Robinson Flat Campground is closed, as is the intersection of Robinson Flat Road and Mosquito Ridge Road. The Tahoe National Forest also issued a voluntary evacuation notice for Big Oak Flat, which is near the south end of the fire.

Other emergency closures that were established on Friday remain in place - descriptions and a map can be found online here.

The American Fire began on Aug. 10. Heavy smoke is still a big issue for the foothills, Tahoe area and Sacramento Valley.

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