Fast-moving wildfire destroys homes in Northern California

 30 Aug 2017 - 11:17

Fast-moving wildfire destroys homes in Northern California
A firefighter battles the Ponderosa Fire east of Oroville, California, U.S. August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Noah Berger TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY.

Reuters

USA/WILDFIRES: A fast-moving wildfire destroyed several homes and forced the evacuation of residents in Northern California on Tuesday, local media and fire officials said.

The fire started at 1.15 p.m. and burned 1,000 acres (405 hectares) in Butte County, about 85 miles (135 km) north of Sacramento, according to information on the Cal Fire website. At least nine houses were destroyed, local media reported.

Photos on social media showed the fire turning houses into ash as smoke billowed into the sky and flames ripped through trees and vegetation.

"My grandparents' house is gone. Everything on their road burned and it feels like losing my grandma all over again," said a Twitter user.

A mandatory evacuation order was placed on residents who live in the remote area. It is unclear how many residents were evacuated. Two shelters were opened for displaced residents, local media reported.

Cal Fire officials were not immediately available for comment.

Northern California is facing a heatwave over the next few days with temperatures expected to top 105 degrees Fahrenheit, the National Weather Service said.

Since the beginning of the year, wildfires in the U.S. West have burned more than 6.8 million acres, about 50 percent more than during the same time period in 2016.

More than 45,000 fires have burned so far this year across the region, 15 percent more than in 2016, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.