Number of homes destroyed by Clover fire more than doubles
The number of homes destroyed by the Clover fire in Northern California’s Shasta County more than doubled Wednesday to 68 after firefighters were able to better assess the area, officials said.
The fire has also destroyed 128 outbuildings, Cal Fire spokesman David Ballard said. For most of the week, firefighters had thought the fire destroyed 30 homes, he added.
“That was kind of a shocker to us,” he said.
The wind-driven Clover fire has been burning near the rural community of Happy Valley, about 10 miles southwest of Redding, since Monday afternoon when it started near Cloverdale Road, Cal Fire officials said.
Authorities on Tuesday also discovered the burned remains of Brian Stanley Henry, 56, while conducting a welfare check on Coal Pit Road, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday. His death is under investigation.
The Clover fire was 65% contained as of Thursday morning and firefighters are hoping for full containment by Sunday, Ballard said.
The blaze has charred 7,993 acres, or about 12.5 square miles, Ballard said. The estimated size of the fire has fluctuated as smoke clears from the area and firefighters are able to make more accurate maps of the blaze, he said.
An additional 300 structures remain threatened by the blaze, he added.
The fire prompted mandatory evacuations in Happy Valley, Igo, Cotton Wood and other areas in Shasta County. All evacuation orders are still in effect, but officials hope to re-open some roads Thursday morning, Ballard said.
The fire grew quickly Monday because of gusty winds and dry conditions, officials said. Residents had minutes to evacuate, and one school district official described the smoke minutes after the blaze began as a “wall of smoke.”
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