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Thompson Fire near Oroville destroyed 13 homes, is 86% contained after burning 3,800 acres

A burned down home and vehicle from the Thompson fire on Wednesday, July 3, 2024 in Oroville, California, at Bessie Lane. (Hector Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee/TNS)

Thirteen homes were destroyed by the Thompson Fire that blazed through Butte County this month. In reporting its damage assessment Sunday, Cal Fire’s Butte County unit found that 13 minor structures were also destroyed.

The assessment came as the final evacuation zones were lifted for the wildfire that started July 2 and burned through an area sandwiched between the city of Oroville and Lake Oroville, prompting more than 13,000 residents to flee.

A helicopter flies over the Thompson fire near the Oroville Dam on Wednesday, July 3, 2024, in California. (Hector Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee/TNS)

Cal Fire said an additional five homes and three “minor” structures were damaged by the blaze, which broke out amid red flag conditions and fierce winds that quickly spread embers.

As of Sunday, the fire had scorched 3,789 acres and was 86% contained. Four firefighters were injured during the initial fight but no residents were injured.

Cal Fire said Sunday morning that crews remained in the burn areas “strengthening containment and control lines, and support suppression repair efforts.”

“Firefighters on the line will continue to remain hydrated and ready in the event the fire activity increases,” incident commanders said. “Record hot and dry weather conditions and rugged topography throughout the fire area are challenging for suppression efforts.”

Record-high temperatures in Butte County and across Northern California remain a concern for firefighters, who are expecting slightly cooler days — temperatures below 105 degrees — at the beginning of this week.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


© 2024 The Sacramento Bee

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