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Trees Damaged in Upper Bidwell Park from Stoney Fire Are Dangerous

Action News Now anchor/reporter Cecile Juliette takes us behind the fire line of the Stoney Fire in Upper Bidwell Park to see the dangers from trees impacted by the blaze.

Posted: Jul 18, 2018 3:37 PM

CHICO, Calif. - Firefighters are still working toward full containment of the 960 acre Stoney Fire in Chico's Bidwell Park.

Action News Now anchor/reporter Cecile Juliette went behind the lines of the Stoney Fire to see the damage, and to share it with all of the people who say they are itching to get back into Upper Park.

The entire south side of Upper Bidwell Park south of Big Chico Creek from 10 Mile House Road on Hwy 32 and westward is closed to all park users (bicyclist, joggers, hikers, etc) until further notice.

Firefighters showed Juliette the very real dangers that lurk for anyone who tries to get back where the damage is the the worst.

Trees that had very deep roots caught fire.  Bark is a natural fire repellent, so the flames take hold of the interior of the tree. it may not be obvious from the outside, but the tree is now hollow. A little bit of wind, or just with time, that tree will eventually fall over.

There are also stump fires. The roots can smolder for months.

CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Jason Morris showed some dangerous spots to Juliette. He said, "All these holes used to be solid root systems and the holes go pretty deep and pretty far, which means they're going somewhere and you could easily break through the crust of the ground and get burned."

Firefighters want to warn everyone that even when the park is reopened, ot does not mean the dangers are over.

Your best bet, they say,  is to stay away from the Stoney Fire burn scar for the safety of you and of your family and friends.

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Gusty winds, hot temperatures, and dry conditions are prompting a Red Flag Warning for high fire danger today. Gusty winds will keep fire danger high through the end of the week, but a welcome cooling trend is on the way in your extended forecast.
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