Sierra Nevada wildfire threatens small rural communities


BRIDGEPORT, Calif. (AP) — A Sierra Nevada fires destroyed four structures and posed a threat to more than 500 homes and other buildings, California authorities said Wednesday.

The Rice Fire increased to 769 acres (311 hectares) near the Yuba River in Nevada County and there was no containment, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement.

The small communities of Birchville, Sweetland, French Corral, Bridgeport, Rices Crossing and the Buttermilk area were under evacuation orders, Cal Fire said.

The agency did not specify the types of structures destroyed, but noted that a damage assessment was underway in the burned area.

The blaze broke out on Tuesday afternoon and caused wind-blown passages through extremely dry vegetation and drought-stressed trees. Firefighters battled the blaze on the ground and in the air, with planes making water drops and fireproofing.

Authorities said the blaze started with a burning building and the flames spread to vegetation.

On the Central Coast, the 325-acre (131-hectare) Camino Fire in San Luis Obispo County was 30% contained and no structures were at risk, Cal Fire said. Investigators determined that he had been ignited by a vehicle’s catalytic converter.


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