Gain­ing up­per hand on fires

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

A fire­fighter works around a wild­fire-dam­aged home Wed­nes­day in San Jose, Calif., as crews be­gan mak­ing progress against dozens of wild­fires across the West. The num­ber of struc­tures threat­ened in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia was down­graded from sev­eral thou­sand to about 600.

OROVILLE, Calif. — Fire­fight­ers all around the U.S. West fi­nally saw some real progress Wed­nes­day, sur­round­ing once-fierce blazes and al­low­ing evac­uees to start head­ing back home.

Of­fi­cials on Wed­nes­day down­graded the num­ber of struc­tures threat­ened by a North­ern Cal­i­for­nia fire from sev­eral thou­sand to roughly 600. Author­i­ties sur­vey­ing the dam­age said at least 41 homes and 55 other build­ings had been de­stroyed near the town of Oroville.

Some res­i­dents had re­turned home af­ter flee­ing the flames in the foothills of the Sierra Ne­vada, about 60 miles north of Sacra­mento, but thou­sands re­mained evac­u­ated as the fire en­tered its fifth day.

The blaze burned nearly 9 square miles and in­jured four fire­fight­ers. Of­fi­cials said the fire was more than half con­tained Wed­nes­day.

In Colorado, crews started to wind down the fight against a wild­fire that tem­po­rar­ily forced hun­dreds of peo­ple to evac­u­ate near the re­sort town of Breck­en­ridge. Fire­fight­ers built con­tain­ment lines around at least 85 per­cent of the blaze.

AP/MAR­CIO JOSE SANCHEZ

AP/MAR­CIO JOSE SANCHEZ

A res­i­dent looks in­side a fire-rav­aged home Wed­nes­day in San Jose, Calif., one of sev­eral West­ern states where wild­fires con­tin­ued to burn.

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