2020-09-19@06:24:52 GMT
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Berry Creek:

    BERRY CREEK, Calif. (AP) — Two years before a deadly fire leveled Berry Creek, the community was selected to receive an $836,000 state grant for pruning vegetation and clearing fuel from potential fire spots. But the forest management project was never completed because of red tape, said local officials, who now wonder whether clearing the area of potential fuel might have changed the fortunes of Berry Creek, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday. “I can’t guarantee that it would’ve stopped the fire, but it would have given them a place to fight it,” said Bill Connelly, a Butte County supervisor representing the district that includes Berry Creek. The grant was meant to go toward vegetation thinning and pruning projects near...
    BERRY CREEK, Calif. —  As a rapidly growing wildfire barreled toward Lake Oroville, residents of the small mountain communities lying in its path had to decide what to do. Two told their families they planned to seek shelter at a nearby pond. Another said he would leave only when he could see the fire from his home. Three others were ready to evacuate, only to hold off based on incorrect information about how much the blaze was contained. All of those people, along with nine others, ultimately fell victim to the North Complex fire, a massive blaze that exploded last week into one of the deadliest and most expansive conflagrations California has seen. While crews continue...
    OROVILLE  — A 72-year-old man found dead in a vehicle and two other people discovered on a roadway were among the latest victims of the deadliest wildfire in California this year. Fifteen people were killed last week in the North Complex fire burning about 125 miles (200 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco. One person remained missing, the Butte County sheriff’s office said late Wednesday. DNA testing was used to positively identify 12 of the victims, Sheriff Kory Honea said. They included Jacob Albright, 72, of Feather Falls, whose body was found in a vehicle on a property in the community. The two bodies in the roadway were found in Berry Creek — one about 10 feet from an all-terrain vehicle,...
    OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A 72-year-old man found dead in a vehicle and two other people discovered on a roadway were among the latest victims of the deadliest wildfire in California this year. Fifteen people were killed last week in the North Complex West Zone fire, also known as the Bear Fire, burning about 125 miles northeast of San Francisco. One person remained missing, the Butte County sheriff’s office said late Wednesday. DNA testing was used to positively identify 12 of the victims, Sheriff Kory Honea said. They included Jacob Albright, 72, of Feather Falls, whose body was found in a vehicle on a property in the community. The two bodies in the roadway were found in Berry Creek —...
    OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A 72-year-old man found dead in a vehicle and two other people discovered on a roadway were among the latest victims of the deadliest wildfire in California this year. Fifteen people were killed last week in the North Complex fire burning about 125 miles (200 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco, and two people remained missing, the Butte County sheriff's office said late Tuesday. DNA testing was used to positively identify 10 of the victims, Sheriff Kory Honea said. They included Jacob Albright, 72, of Feather Falls, whose body was found in a vehicle on a property in the community. The two bodies in the roadway were found in Berry Creek — one about 10 feet from...
    CHICO (CBS SF) — As the flames closed in on Butte County Mountain community of Feather Falls last week, two local residents tried unsuccessfully to outrun the North Complex West Zone fire. They were overwhelmed in their vehicles and are among the 15 who have died in the blaze, authorities said Tuesday evening. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea identified the two men as Jacob Albright, 74, and Randy Harrell, 68. Both men were found inside their burned out vehicles and were the first confirmed victims from the Feather Falls area. Two other bodies were discovered in roadways among the wreckage of what was Berry Creek. One of this victims has been identified as Paul Winer, 68. Authorities were still attempting...
    BERRY CREEK, Calif. —  The Bear fire was burning in the mountains of Butte County, devouring acres of land and belching out black smoke as it inched toward Berry Creek and other communities in the area. More than 40 miles away in Chico, Carin Dorghalli had trouble sleeping. The 26-year-old journalist had been covering the fire for the Chico Enterprise-Record. While in the field, she managed to check up on the family business — the Village Market. It was the only gas station and convenience store in the area. Her father had purchased it 2006 and marked his financial success as an immigrant from Syria. For residents, the store was a lifeline and a community gathering spot, especially after the...
    The confirmed death toll from California’s unprecedented firestorm has risen to 25 as crews work to hem in some two dozen major blazes still burning statewide. Another fatality was confirmed Monday in the area of the North Complex fire near Oroville — boosting that fire’s death toll to 15, according to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office. In recorded state history, only four blazes have been deadlier. Authorities have released the names of seven fire victims: John Butler, 79; Sandra Butler, 75; Jorge Hernandez-Juarez, 26; Philip Rubel, 68; Khawar Bhatti, 58; Millicent Catarancuic, 77; and Josiah Williams, 16. All were residents of Berry Creek, a mountain town northeast of Oroville that was devastated by the fire. ...
    CHICO (CBS SF/AP) — The bodies of a missing Berry Creek couple, who told relatives during frantic call as flames roared through their Butte County mountain community that they would try to escape the fire by sheltering in a nearby pond, were identified Monday, tragically ending their family’s hopes that they had survived. Butte County Sheriff Korey Honea said the bodies of Jonathan Butler and his wife, Sandra, were discovered near their home. “On the night of Sept. 9th, a family member of Jon Butler, 79, and Sandra Butler, 75, called to say that they had not heard from Jon and Sandra,” Honea said. “The family members had spoken to the Butlers during the fire. The Butlers told the...
    BUTTE COUNTY – Authorities on Monday night announced the recovery of additional human remains in the North Complex West Zone Fire and identified four of the victims. The death toll in the wildfire now stands at 15, said Butte County Sheriff-Coroner Kory Honea at a news conference. Honea identified two of the victims as John Butler, 79, and Sandra Butler, 75, both of Berry Creek. The couple lived on Wailaki Court. “The family members had spoken to the Butlers during the fire,” Honea said. “The Butlers told the family members they were going to seek refuge from the fire at a pond near their residence.” A third victim was identified as Jorge Hernandez-Juarez, 26, of Berry Creek. His remains were...
    BERRY CREEK (CBS13) — President Donald Trump dodged questions directly answering questions on climate change, Monday. One Berry Creek man who lived through the wildfire wants the president to know he thinks climate change is very real. “We made the decision. We had to get out,” said Robert Lipkin. Just after he and his wife left to escape the Bear Fire, seeking shelter in Oroville, a motion sensor camera set up overlooking his property caught the unbelievable fire in action. “The motion sensor went off when the first flash of fire went off and for the next seven and a half minutes it was the most amazing footage I had ever seen,” said Lipkin. READ: Easing Fires Not As Simple As...
    CHICO (CBS SF/AP) –Search teams have recovered the remains of two new fire victims, raising the death toll in the North Complex West Zone blaze to 14, authorities announced Sunday night. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea announced the latest recoveries at the nightly update. He did not release any other details. However, Honea did release information about a third victim — Khawar Bhatti — he was a 58-year-old man who died in Berry Creek. He also said the number of missing has been reduced from 16 to 7. On Sunday, survivors of the fire told frightening tales of their panicked escape from Berry Creek as the wall of flames roared through early Wednesday. Particularly of encountering a traffic jam on...
    CHICO (CBS SF/AP) –Search teams have recovered the remains of two new fire victims, raising the death toll in the North Complex West Zone blaze to 14, authorities announced Sunday night. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea announced the latest recoveries at the nightly update. He did not release any other details. However, Honea did release information about a third victim – he was a 58-year-old man who died in Berry Creek. He also said the number of missing has been reduced from 16 to 7. Meanwhile on Sunday, survivors of the fire told frightening tales of their panicked escape from Berry Creek as the wall of flames roared through early Wednesday. Particularly of encountering a traffic jam on the two-lane...
    BERRY CREEK (CBS SF/AP) — As a wall of flames roared toward the Butte County mountain community of Berry Creek, panicked residents trying to escape ran into a traffic jam on the two-lane bridge leading out of town. The blaze had traveled 30 miles over an 18-hour stretch after it jumped over the fire lines Tuesday, leaving in its wake a path of death and destruction. Squarely in fire’s path was Berry Creek — an unincorporated town of about 1,200 people. Among those trying to escape were Misty Spires and her boyfriend, Jonathan Gonzales, who had spent time Tuesday night trying to save their home and other structures with a fire hose from the volunteer fire department hooked up to...
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — As the flames closed in on tiny Berry Creek in the Sierra Nevada foothills early Wednesday, Misty Spires and her boyfriend hooked a fire hose to a hydrant in a desperate attempt to defend their homes and the town’s only laundromat. They gave up around 4 a.m. when propane tanks began exploding and they were dodging embers “as big as my feet,” she said. But traffic was snarled on the two-lane bridge leading out of town, forcing Spires and others to turn around and drive down a sandbar to escape the flames. She helped another man load his motorcycle on the back of her pickup truck before sprinting to safety. “It was like a war...
    CHICO (CBS SF) — The death toll of the massive North Complex West Zone fire grew to 12 on Saturday as search teams recovered remains of three new victims among the ruins left behind by the wall of flames that has ripped through the small mountain communities near Lake Oroville. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea made the grim announcement at Saturday night’s fire update. He could not give any additional details about where the bodies were recovered. He said of the 174 calls received by his agency concerning missing individuals, 149 have been found safe. There were 13 people still missing. The Bear Creek portion of the North Complex stood at 73,000 acres, was 10 percent contained and had destroyed...
    By DAISY NGUYEN and ADAM BEAM, Associated Press SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — As the flames closed in on tiny Berry Creek in the Sierra Nevada foothills early Wednesday, Misty Spires and her boyfriend hooked a fire hose to a hydrant in a desperate attempt to defend their homes and the town's only laundromat. They gave up around 4 a.m. when propane tanks began exploding and they were dodging embers “as big as my feet,” she said. But traffic was snarled on the two-lane bridge leading out of town, forcing Spires and others to turn around and drive down a sandbar to escape the flames. She helped another man load his motorcycle on the back of her pickup truck before sprinting...
    CHICO (CBS SF) — The death toll of the massive North Complex West Zone fire grew to 12 on Saturday as search teams recovered remains of three new victims among the ruins left behind by the wall of flames that has ripped through the small mountain communities near Lake Oroville. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea made the grim announcement at Saturday night’s fire update. He could not give any additional details about where the bodies were recovered. He said of the 174 calls received by his agency concerning missing individuals, 149 have been found safe. There were 13 people still missing. The Bear Creek portion of the North Complex stood at 73,000 acres, was 10 percent contained and had destroyed...
    CHICO, Calif. (AP/CBS13) — Search and rescue workers found three more bodies in the rubble of the North Complex Fire raising the death toll in that blaze to 12 and total deaths in the state’s recent wildfires to 22. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea announced the additional deaths Saturday but did not provide any details. He said 13 people remain unaccounted for. RELATED: Puppy Temporarily Named Trooper Rescued From Rubble Of Deadly Butte County Fire The fire, which roared into Berry Creek and Feather Falls in the Sierra Nevada foothills northeast of San Francisco on Tuesday night, destroyed the small town of Berry Creek and other mountain communities in the shadow of the 2018 Camp Fire that killed 85 people....
    Earlier this week, the North Complex fire was a dying giant that was more than half-contained, not the monster it would become. Firefighters thought a river, one crew of firefighters and one incomplete line of bare earth might keep the Northern California fire from racing toward communities like Berry Creek, officials said. At the time, firefighters said they had few options. Then the fire exploded, traveling with astounding speed into Butte County mountain communities, destroying hundreds of structures, killing at least nine with a dozen still missing. When the winds came, the firefighters were quickly overwhelmed and soon the fire was burning homes. There are troubling parallels between this fire and the fast-moving inferno that burned down much of Paradise...
    A beloved summer camp for children with cancer was badly damaged by a Northern California wildfire. Camp Okizu, which is tucked into the woods near a little lake outside of Berry Creek, Calif., has hosted children with cancer and their families for 38 years. The fire largely destroyed the town of Berry Creek and has killed at least three people, including a 16-year-old boy. At least 19 people are missing. Many of the camp’s buildings, including the main lodge and dorms, were destroyed, The Sacramento Bee reported. Okizu hosted more than 3,000 participants last summer, but was empty this year because of the threat of COVID-19. “We don’t yet know the full extent of the damage, and once we can...
    CHICO (CBS SF) — A wall of flames from the North Complex West Zone fire roared through the Butte County mountain community of Berry Creek, destroying homes, dreams and claiming at least two lives. Video and photos of the area show the frightening force of the blaze. Devastation is everywhere. By Friday night, the Bear Creek portion of the North Complex stood at 70,500 acres, was 5 percent contained and had destroyed at least 2,000 structures. But it was its rapid spread in the early hours, after it jumped fire lines on Tuesday, that may have been too much for many who were trying to flee the flames. Over the next 18 hours it traveled 30 miles, leaving in its...
    BERRY CREEK, Calif. (AP) — Smoke from massive wildfires that painted California skies orange was also helping crews corral the deadliest blaze of the year, but despite the progress there was concern that the death toll could mount as crews reach devastated areas. Nine people, including a 16-year-old boy, have been confirmed dead since lightning-caused fires that started weeks ago fused into a monster that largely destroyed Berry Creek, a tiny hamlet in the Sierra Nevada foothills northeast of San Francisco. Crews made progress Friday in chopping or bulldozing brush-free lines to control lne North Complex fire. In addition, gusting winds that whipped up the flames days earlier eased while smoke blocked out the sun and lowered previously scorching temperatures....
    OROVILLE (CBS13) – The death toll is rising in the Bear Fire. The Butte County Sheriff’s Office says 10 people are dead and 16 people are still unaccounted for,  as the frantic search for the missing continues in Butte County. Berry Creek, a town of just 525 people, now has almost every structure burned to the ground, and many of the missing are from that part of Butte County. On Friday, crews began to assess fire damage across the county. Jeanne Neely and Jesse Blair, both from Berry creek, called the last few days terrifying. “It’s scary trying to keep hope,” Neely said. Both are friends of 16-year-old Josiah William’s family. They said they were devastated to learn his young...
    BERRY CREEK — When the Bear Fire crept closer than any fire ever had to Valerie Andrews’ home on the unpaved Encina Grande Road, about two miles from the Oroville Quincy Highway that winds through Berry Creek, she went to the safest place she could think: the bottom of the lake. There was no swimming required — the water line recedes enough during the dry summer months to leave a bare moonscape in its place. Which is how Andrews found herself sitting in a fold-up chair outside her white Ford pickup truck Thursday, her three small dogs wandering around her, feeling relatively protected even as she watched smoke rise from the burning forest line about half a mile away from...
    LAKE OROVILLE, Calif. —  Zygy Roe-Zurz was in Oklahoma on Friday, but his heart was in Berry Creek, the once-sylvan mountain town now turned to ash by the Bear fire. His mother, Suzan Violet Zurz, a painter and former model, remained missing from there, and his hope was fraying. “I can imagine so many scenarios,” he said, speaking by phone. He is beginning to fear the worst, though, as days mount with no word from a parent to whom he is very close, he said. Suzan Violet Zurz is missing after the Bear Fire near Oroville, Calif.(Zygy Roe- Zurz) Roe-Zurz, a medical student, last spoke with his mom on Tuesday, when she was packing to evacuate...
    BERRY CREEK, Calif. —  Frank Martinez considers himself a veteran of California wildfires, both as refugee and responder, feeding fire crews and survivors and running when flames hit too close to home. “We’ve done this before,” Martinez said Thursday morning, sitting with his breathing machine inside a friend’s restaurant. After fleeing from the Bear fire in the early morning darkness Wednesday, the restaurant basement had become his temporary home. He had no idea if his own home was still standing. It would be several hours before he had an answer. Martinez, 55, lives in the rural hills outside of Oroville, where the Bear fire is wreaking destruction. Since 2015, flames have chased him from his double-wide trailer on four separate...
    BERRY CREEK (CBS13) – Families in Butte County are coming forward desperately searching for their loved ones missing amid the North Complex West Zone fire. Michelle Rancour-Aldridge is searching for her sister. Michelle Rancour-Aldridge (left) with her sister Kelly. “They told me, ‘You can’t go up there, they have already stopped from going up there,’ ” she said. Homes are burnt to the ground and years of memories are gone in Berry Creek. The North Complex West Zone left several people trapped. The missing included Kelly Burke, a mother in her late 40’s, and 16-year-old Josiah Williams. Josiah’s mom, Jessica Williams, confirmed that DNA found confirmed her son Josiah was dead. READ: 16-Year-Old Josiah Williams Killed In North Complex West Zone...
    BUTTE COUNTY (CBS13) — Homeowners aren’t the only ones displaced by the fires, animals and pets are evacuating to safer ground as flames tear through their normal habitats. Photojournalist Dave Grashoff, in the red hat, helps rescuers move a pig. CBS13 photojournalist Dave Grashoff stumbled upon some goats, pigs and horses Thursday while out covering the North Complex West Zone Fire, formerly known as the Bear Fire, in Butte County. It’s an apocalyptic scene in Berry Creek. The air, heavy with smoke and ash, is suffocating what’s left of the neighborhood. But if you look close enough, signs of life are peaking through the haze. A dehydrated pig was spotted by Dave, who called for help. Moments later, a deputy...
    BERRY CREEK (CBS13) — The small community of Berry Creek is now wiped out by a wildfire, in an eerie scene that’s become all too common in California. Devastation in Berry Creek This wildfire has also turned deadly. The Butte County Sheriff’s Office announcing three bodies have been discovered. None have been identified. There are also a dozen missing people. READ MORE: 3 Killed As Bear Fire Explodes In Butte County Jessica Williams reported her 16-year-old son missing. She spoke to CBS13 from Indiana, where she is working to locate her son Josiah Williams. “He’s smart, he’s a good kid, he’s athletic,” Williams said. Josiah was last seen in Berry Creek. His car was found unscathed. A search of hospitals has...
    SACRAMENTO —  Less than two years after the most destructive fire in California history tore through Paradise, the same region was under siege from a second monster firestorm that quickly grew to more than 250,000 acres, sweeping through mountain hamlets and killing at least three people. On Wednesday night, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea once again faced the grim task of announcing victims of the flames, just as he had for weeks after the destruction of the Camp fire. Three bodies were found in the wake of the Bear fire, part of the massive North Complex blazes that raced through northern Sierra Nevada foothills before dawn Wednesday. The multiple blazes caught crews and residents off guard as they leaped southwest...
    BERRY CREEK — A person apparently fleeing the fast-moving Bear Fire was found dead in the Berry Creek area Wednesday, authorities said, marking the first confirmed fatality in the blaze that exploded in size overnight. California Highway Patrol Officer Ben Draper said the person, who has not been publicly identified, was found late Wednesday morning near a car in the area of Bald Rock Road and Graystone Lane. The Berry Creek area near Lake Oroville suffered extensive fire damage to homes and businesses. Draper said CHP officers were initially called to the scene believing it may have been a collision, but determined the person likely drove toward a ditch and fled his or her car before being overcome by the...
    SACRAMENTO —  Several Northern California fires are now threatening communities in Butte County, including Paradise, which was largely destroyed in 2018 in what was the worst fire in California history. The North Complex fire, which includes the Bear fire, spread rapidly overnight, stunning fire officials with its speed and ferocity. By morning, it had consumed an additional 80,000 acres, bringing it to more than 254,000 acres, and — and extending its potential threat to the towns of Paradise and Concow, which were devastated in the 2018 Camp fire. The Camp fire killed 85 people and destroyed more than 13,900 homes. Pacific Gas & Electric Co.announced in a federal filing that it had pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter...