california wildfires

3 Dead in Wildfire Flare-Up in Butte County, Evacuations in Place Near Oroville

Blaze explodes to more than 150,000 acres, forces thousands to flee and destroys homes

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Gusty winds caused a major flare-up of a wildfire in Butte County that prompted mass emergency evacuations Wednesday morning in and around Oroville.

The Butte County sheriff deputies confirmed Wednesday that three people have died in connection to the Bear Fire, which is part of the lightning-caused North Complex Fire in the Plumas National Forest.

It flared up overnight and prompted the Butte County Sheriff's Office to issue an emergency evacuation order at about 12:30 a.m. for the following areas:

  • Cherokee Road at Highway 70, south to Thompson Flat Cemetery Road
  • All areas east to Lake Oroville

A temporary evacuation point was established at Church of the Nazarene 2238 Monte Vista Ave. in Oroville, officials said.

Video early Wednesday showed flames spreading to some structures in the area.

Several other North Complex Fire-related evacuation orders and warnings have been issued in Butte and Yuba counties.

The North Complex Fire, which started in Plumas County on Aug. 18, has burned 150,140 acres and is 38% contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service, which is the lead agency in the fire, with Cal Fire assisting.

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