Fast-moving brush fire in Butte County destroys four homes


At least four homes have been destroyed in a fast-moving brush fire that erupted just before noon in Butte County in Northern California, officials said Wednesday.

The blaze, dubbed the Nelson fire, prompted evacuations in the town of Thermalito, near Oroville. Photos from the scene showed black smoke consuming the area.

The fire jumped to about 50 acres, and authorities with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported progress before the blaze shot up to nearly 100 acres around 2 p.m. Within half an hour, though, firefighters reported that forward progress of the fire had been stopped and the blaze was 50% contained.


The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the area shortly before 5:30 a.m. The warning remains in effect until Thursday afternoon. Several other areas in the Central Valley are also under the warning.

A fast-moving brush fire broke out south of the area in a rural section of Calaveras County on Tuesday night, which also prompted an evacuation warning.

The Walker fire had ballooned to 1,100 acres and was 10% contained Wednesday morning. Two structures have been destroyed in that blaze.

The cause of both fires is under investigation, officials said.