Man arrested, homes burn in Ponderosa Fire

The fire, which is burning near the Northern California town of Oroville, is threatening 500 homes and another 800 outbuildings.

The evacuation center at the Church of the Nazarene in Oroville, 2238 Monte Vista Ave., remains open as are the animals shelters at the old county hospital at 2278 Del Oro Ave.in Oroville, and a large animal center at Camelot Equestrian Center, 1985 Clark Road, Oroville.

About 100 firefighers remained on the lines last night, after air tankers dumped fire retardants on the flaming sagebrush and invasive cheat grass.

Huge flames are burning on hilltops and smoke is visible for miles around.


John Ballenger, 29, of Oroville, is charged with a felony count of recklessly causing a fire that destroyed forestland and a felony count of recklessly causing a fire that destroyed an inhabited dwelling. The fire that started in the Custer National Forest about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northwest of Broadus on Wednesday burned at least 47 square miles (121 square kilometers) in a single day. Seven ranches were threatened, and full containment isn't expected for a week.

The massive jet, nicknamed the 747 SuperTanker, roared over two ongoing fires this week in California to make its first drops in the United States.

More than 1,600 firefighters are battling the so-called Ponderosa Fire, another natural disaster striking the USA while the South battles tropical storm Harvey.

La Tuna Fire, named after the canyon area where it erupted on Friday, has led authorities to evacuate more than 700 homes in a north Los Angeles neighborhood and in nearby Burbank and Glendale, officials said.


Wildfires in the U.S. West have burned more than 7.1 million acres (2.9 million hectares) since the beginning of the year, about 50 percent more than during the same time period in 2016, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Firefighters say the wildfire has burned 60 acres (24 hectares) of steep terrain covered by pine trees and brush.

The fire was only 10 percent contained with more than 500 firefighters battling it.



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