- Posted August 18, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Wildfires blazing near you
Update on the Swedes Flat Fire
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
At 9:30 p.m. last night, CalFire released a report that the fire had consumed approximately 235 acres. During the night, the winds came up and drove the blaze along into areas of steep terrain with heavy brush. These conditions made it difficult for firefighters to battle the fire and it grew rapidly, reaching 1000 acres at around 2:00 a.m. this morning.
At 9:30 this morning, CalFire reported that the fire was at 1200 acres. Then at 3:00 p.m. the inferno had claimed 1500 acres and was 25% contained. At that time, five structures had been destroyed.
Evacuations and road closures are ongoing and change periodically. Because of the dynamic and unpredictable nature of fire, circumstances can change at a moment’s notice. Residents should be aware of their surroundings and ready to evacuate at all times.
One California Highway Patrol Officer who was stationed at the intersection of Swedes Flat Road and Oro Bangor Highway stated that some residents had walked out from their homes to talk to him about the fire. When he told them he could not allow them to return to the area, they became upset with him. Safety is the number one priority and everyone should be mindful of this fact. It is not worth risking human life over curiosity or possessions—no matter how precious they are.
Official evacuation orders have been issued in the areas of Chinese Wall Road, Swedes Flat Road from Chinese Wall Road to Oro Bangor Highway, Fox Lane, Romo Road, Nichols Ranch Road, Spring Creek Road, Cole Lane, Cornett Lane, Mission Crest Drive, Rutherford Lane and the east side of Oro Bangor Highway from Swedes Flat to Mission Crest. All of Hurleton Swedes Flat and all roads that run off of it between Swedes Flat and Forbestown Road.
Evacuation warnings for possible future evacuations are in effect for the areas of Miners Ranch Road from Oro Bangor Highway to Oroville Quincy Highway (Hwy 162), Oroville Quincy Highway to Forbestown Road, Hurleton Swedes Flat Road to Swedes Flat Road.
Please be safe and prudent in this State of Emergency. Be cooperative and assistive to all emergency and law personnel. If at all possible, do something to help—even if it is just to get out of the way. At this time, there are 68 fire engines, 12 dozers, 7 water tenders, 4 air tankers, and 1 helicopter, with a total of 543 personnel working on this fire. One residence, one garage and three outbuildings have been destroyed by the fire.
There are a number of people from a number of agencies moving back and forth constantly to assure the safety of all involved. Police, fire, and medical personnel always come to mind in this respect. However, there are many other volunteers who are doing smaller jobs to help everything run smoothly. Food, water, and other essentials are bought, donated, and transported to “command posts” by these volunteers. Documents and other items are taken back and forth. Animals are being rescued and taken to temporary rescue shelters. All of this takes a lot of organization and time. Please be respectful of these individuals.
Any evacuees who have smaller animals such as dogs or cats can board them at the Old County Hospital, located at 2279 Del Oro Avenue in Thermalito, just behind CalFire. Larger animals such as livestock can be taken to 1985 Clark Road in Butte Valley. Anyone who needs help with animal evacuations can call the North Valley Animal Disaster Group at 895-0000.
A Red Cross shelter has also been set up at the Church of the Nazarene, located 2238 Monte Vista Avenue near 7-11. Upon entering the parking lot, veer toward the left side of the building. A table is set up just inside the side entrance. They have had a few people come in for some refreshments, but not to stay. They are there to assist any evacuees in any way needed.
For regular updates, go to the CalFire Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thenet411.