Explosive Wildfire in California Prompts Officials to Place Entire Town Under Evacuation Notice

firefighters-butte-fire

The town of San Andreas, which has a population of 2,700, has been told to prepare to evacuate as a raging wildfire continues to march south in Calaveras and Amador counties.

Cal Fire officials initially said Friday that all of San Andreas was under an evacuation order, as the so-called Butte Fire exploded in size to more than 64,000 acres.

That mandatory evacuation order was lifted as of 4:30 p.m. but residents should still be prepared to evacuate, Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said.

As people were leaving the Mountain Ranch Road area of San Andreas on Friday they told KCRA’s David Bienick that they saw homes go up in flames in the area. Cal Fire has not confirmed that any homes were destroyed.

On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency as firefighters continue to battle a fast-moving, explosive wildfire in Amador and Calaveras counties.

The so-called Butte Fire is threatening 6,000 homes and is 5 percent contained, according to Cal Fire.

“It’s expanding like a balloon,” said state fire spokeswoman Nancy Longmore. “It’s moving very fast. There’s many homes threatened. … This fire is extremely dangerous.”

Video from LiveCopter3 showed a large plume of smoke and flames marching toward San Andreas as of 5 p.m. Friday.

The blaze was originally sparked about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday on Butte Mountain Road, east of Jackson, and at one point, it appeared as if firefighters were going to be able to contain it quickly.

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SOURCE: Sarah Heise
KCRA 3 

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