NorCal’s Butte Fire Burns 65,000 Acres, 15 Structures; Thousands Evacuated

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By Sept. 11, 2015, the Butte fire had destroyed 6 structures and was threatening more than 6,000 others. (Credit: KTXL)

Steep hillsides matched with drought-stricken terrain continued to fuel the Butte Fire in Northern California Saturday, aiding in its unprecedented growth to 65,000 acres in just three days, according to Cal Fire officials.

Thousands of people remained evacuated as the blaze threatened 6,400 structures, after already having destroyed 15, according to Cal Fire.

It was 15 percent contained as of Saturday evening.

The blaze erupted near Jackson, a small city in the Sierra Nevada foothills about 45 miles east-southeast of Sacramento, on Wednesday.

Two days later, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Amador and Calaveras counties where evacuations persisted Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Firefighters faced not only steep hillsides and four years worth of drought-stricken terrain, but scorching temperatures with a high of 93 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

This all contributed to the fire’s unprecedented growth, Cal Fire officials told the Times.

Nearly 3,300 fire personnel were battling the blaze, and on Saturday damage assessment teams arrived to evaluate the area and structures lost.

Cal Fire provided a full list of evacuations and evacuation centers on its website.

KTLA’s John A. Moreno contributed to this report.

Correction: An earlier version of this article included information from a separate California fire. The misinformation has since been removed.