Man arrested, homes burn in Ponderosa Fire


Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for a rural wildfire that has forced the evacuation of 2,500 homes.

Fire officials say the estimated burn area almost doubled after a flyover Thursday but the blaze is still far from the celebration in the Black Rock Desert.

Bureau of Land Management spokesman John Gaffney told the Reno Gazette-Journal on Friday that the fire had burned 83 square miles and was spreading in all directions, fueled by volatile cheat grass.

The fire has burned 10 residences and 20 outbuildings and is threatening 1,300 structures, including 500 homes, Cal Fire reported Thursday morning.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Tuesday that flames have burned 80 acres (32 hectares).

"This declaration also requests that the Governor declare an emergency - so that state and federal assistance can be provided to the City as quickly as possible", Garcetti said in a statement.

The temperature in Oroville hit 108 degrees (42 degrees C).

Forecasters at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise on Friday released the four-month outlook that predicts September will continue hot and dry with above normal fire potential in northwestern states, Nevada and California.

For the first time in several years the 747 SuperTanker dropped retardant on a wildfire in the United States.

Ten homes have been destroyed and 500 more are threatened near the Northern California town of Oroville.

The SuperTanker is battling the Ponderosa Fire, 10 miles east of Lake Oroville in California. Firefighters have had to bulldoze their own way to get to the tough-to-access blaze, and teams hiked in to cut fire lines in an attempt to contain the fire.

It's one of many wildfires burning across the U.S. West, including blazes in and around California's Yosemite National Park that have closed a popular road into the park, shuttered the iconic Wawona Hotel and evacuated nearby towns.

He added it was hoped firefighters could make good progress Wednesday on the Ponderosa Fire so "we won't have to increase anymore warnings or orders and hopefully at some point we can start talking about repopulation and getting folks back in their homes".