Evacuations over in Northern California wildfire

The Associated PressJuly 16, 2014 

California Wildfires

Firefighters on Monday, July 14, 2014, mop up the area where the Bully Fire started at an illegal marijuana grow near Ono, Calif. Freddie Smoke was arrested on suspicion of starting the fire and on charges of an illegal marijuana grow. Fire investigators say Smoke inadvertently sparked the fire when he started a rental truck packed with supplies for the grow parked in high grass.


— Evacuation orders have been called off for several rural homes in Northern California as firefighters took advantage of cool, moist conditions to begin to tame a large wildfire.

Some residents near the fire in Shasta County have been advised they may need to evacuate again, and the blaze that has burned more than 10,000 acres — or nearly 17 square miles — still poses a threat to nearly 70 homes, state fire officials said in a statement Wednesday night.

The fire was 40 percent contained, up from 20 percent on Tuesday.

Marijuana-growing activity led to the fire breaking out on Friday and subsequently destroying eight homes, authorities said.

Wednesday was the second straight day of dipping temperatures and rising humidity after several days of heat and dryness.

"We're certainly capitalizing on the change in weather," state fire spokesman Dennis Mathisen said.

Eleven firefighters have suffered minor-to-moderate injuries including heat exhaustion while battling the blaze in steep terrain.

A 27-year-old Sacramento man was arrested Saturday and accused of recklessly causing the fire when the exhaust from his truck ignited dry grass while he was delivering material to a pot site.

The so-called Bully Fire had previously been measured at 8,700 acres, but the growth was due to controlled burn operations by firefighters, officials said.

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