SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Erratic winds fanned a Northern California wildfire that threatened more than 300 structures Monday, but the hundreds who evacuated from homes over the weekend were allowed to return as containment lines expanded.
The Davis Fire Department sent a strike team to help on Sunday. The crew consists of one captain and two firefighters, assigned to Division Y. They spent Monday mopping up fire lines on the so-called Swedes Fire.
State fire officials said in a statement that while the fire remained a threat to some homes and buildings, those told to evacuate Saturday have been informed that they can return.
Besides wind, firefighters battling the 3-square-mile fire just outside Bangor, in rural Butte County, were concerned about dry lightning, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Capt. Scott McLean said.
Firefighters had the blaze 64 percent contained.
So far, one residence, a garage and three outbuildings have been destroyed since the fire broke out Friday, McLean said.
The goal is to have the fire fully contained by Thursday, McLean said. About 900 firefighters were targeting the northwest and southeast sections of the blaze Monday.
“Those are the hot spots. That’s where a lot of our work will be taking place today,” McLean said. “If we can tackle those opposing corners and get those two dealt with, we will have made some significant progress.”
The Butte County fire is among 10 significant blazes in the state, and there was potential for more. CalFire spokesman Daniel Berlant said there have been 25,400 lightning strikes in California as firefighters remain on high alert.
The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for coastal counties stretching from Mendocino to Monterey due to gusty winds and dangerous fire conditions.