Environment & Science

Butte Fire, Rough Fire updates: Wildfire flares in NorCal; Big cats evacuated in Fresno

The Butte Fire spread rapidly near Jackson, California.
The Butte Fire spread rapidly near Jackson, California.
El Dorado Hills Fire Dept

A wildfire nearly tripled in size Thursday south of Sacramento, forcing evacuations and sending plumes of smoke over homes in the area. It joins at least 15 fires that continue to burn across California, including the massive Rough Fire in the Central Valley.  

Butte Fire update: NorCal wildfire flares near Jackson, Calif. 

A fire on Butte Mountain Road east of Jackson City has called for nearby evacuations and has damaged six homes.

"The fire on Butte Mountain Road is [in] ... treacherous terrain for fire fighters to try to fight fire in," Brice Bennett, public information officer for Cal Fire, told KPCC. "Lots of old trees, lots of old oak and lots of overgrown grass."

The fire spread rapidly Thursday, sending smoke billowing into the air and dramatic images spilling onto social media:

Tweet: Butte Fire

Investigators are still looking into the origin of the fire. No injuries have been reported so far. Two structures were also destroyed as a result.  

Sacramento's KCRA posted a timelapse of the fire's growth over the day:

Tweet: Butte Fire

You can get the latest information using KPCC's Fire Tracker: 

Fire Tracker: Butte Fire

Rough Fire update: New evacuations of residents and big cat reserve

Meanwhile, the Rough Fire burning near Fresno continued to expand, forcing new evacuations as well as the closure and evacuation of an park for exotic wild cats, including leopards, lions and tigers. 

The Associated Press reports: 

Nearly three dozen wild cats are being evacuated as the state's biggest wildfire continues to spread, possibly threatening the park where they live.

Cat Haven in Fresno County, where the fire has been burning for nearly six weeks, is closing temporarily.

KSFN reports that many of the cats will head to refuges in Los Angeles, while other will remain in the Fresno area, including the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. 

The foothill communities of Dunlap, Miramonte, and Pinehurst are under evacuation warnings.

Fire Tracker: Rough Fire