Editors note: Cal Fire released an incident report that stated the North Complex is now 247,358 acres and 23% contained. Previous reports were at 252,163 acres and 24% containment.
KHSL - In the last 48 hours, the Bear Fire has exploded in size after a lightning strike sparked the blaze in the Plumas National Forest in mid-August.
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Sept. 10 morning map of the Bear Fire / North Complex.
As of Thursday morning, officials said the North Complex fires have burned 247,358 acres. The fires are 23% contained. Winds will be
moderate today, but conditions are still favorable for moderate to high fire activity, according to authorities. Some continued fire growth is expected.
Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea announced the remains of three people were found within the fire area on Wednesday. The sheriff did not say where they were found. Authorities are working to identify the victims and notify their next-of-kin.
The Butte County Sheriff's Office said they received 85 missing person reports or requests for welfare checks in the area affected by the fire. Honea said deputies have safely located 73 individuals.
In a Cal Fire briefing Wednesday evening, authorities confirmed that at least 200 homes and other structures have been destroyed across communities in the Bear Fire zone, including Berry Creek, Brush Creek, and Feather Falls.
Action News Now reporter Kristian Lopez spoke with an Oroville man who stayed behind to try and protect his home. Anderson shared a video he took Tuesday night which shows flames ripping through his neighborhood on Lumpkin Road.
He says he tried to save his home but it was ultimately completely consumed by the flames.
"I was sprinkling drops of water around my house while this crazy inferno is devouring everything around me. I stayed around to see how fast it progressed and it progressed faster than anything I've ever seen before," he said. Read More
All evacuation orders and warnings in Butte County remain in place. Click Here for a full list of those orders, along with an interactive map provided by the sheriff’s office. Click here for a list of road closures in place across Butte County.
The Butte County Courthouse in Oroville will remain closed today, due to the evacuation warnings and orders in place; and the impacts of the fire on the public. An emergency order shutdown the courthouse on Wednesday – it’s in place until Friday. All cases disrupted by the shutdown are now being rescheduled.
Oroville Union High School District said its schools and offices will be closed today. The announcement was made on Wednesday after staff and students were displaced by the fire. District representatives said they are still deciding whether to reopen on Friday or stay closed.
About 20,000 people were under evacuation orders or warnings in Plumas, Yuba and Butte counties due to the North Complex fires.
Below is a map of the Bear Fire provided by authorities Thursday morning: