Sunday, September 13, 2015

Thank you Mother Nature!

      It is raining in Ebbetts Pass! Real rain! For the first time in how many months?

   Thank you, Mother Nature, for putting an end to this miserable Butte Fire!

   It smells and feels wonderful!

Two on dirt bikes may be looting

   September 13, 2015 at 4:55 PM:  The Calaveras Sheriff was called after it was reported that two males on dirt bikes are one Sheep Ranch Road and possibly looting.

    A deputy responded to the area. We don't have details on results yet.

Tan pickup with FIRE written on it

   A person with a tan pickup with FIRE 13 painted on it has been going into fire areas illegally. This vehicle is NOT a legal fire vehicle.

   All CHP has been notified to detain the person if they show up at their intersection.

Residents allowed back in some Amador County areas

   September 13, 2015 at 3:25 PM:  Some residential streets have been reopened, just to residents with identification, in Amador County.

   Hwy 88 at Clinton, Tabeaud, Mt. Zion, and Irishtown will have an officer stationed, checking ID. Hwy 88 at Aquaduct and Hwy 26 at Mokelumne Hill exit are still completely closed.

Wind kicks up--more road closures

   Due to the wind kicking up after lunch today, Cal Fire has asked CHP to close Michel Road, Mountain Ranch Road, Cave City Road. Animal evacuation personnel are allowed but must be escorted.

   A rescue of some animals in the area is underway.  Just when things are looking better, something happens and the Butte Fire continues to expand. An additional unit has been requested by CHP due to a person they have detained.

Homes lost in Butte Fire updated

  September 13, 2015 at 1PM:  In the Butte Fire, after a recent on the ground survey, the number of homes lost so far has been adjusted from 86 to 81.

   The number of outbuildings remains the same at 51.

Backfiring at Rim Freeway working

   So far, the backfiring on the Butte Fire, done at the new Rim Freeway in Ebbetts Pass is working, due to the wind conditions being just right and the freeway being wide.

   We aren't out of the woods (so to speak) yet, however. If the wind changes anything could happen.

Angels Camp evacuation order downgraded to advisory

   Due to hard work by the firefighters on the Butte fire lines around Calaveritas and Fricot City, Angels Camp Police have downgraded their mandatory evacuation notice to advisory only.

   Residents of Altaville and businesses on Hwy 49 are very grateful to our men on the line.

Sprinkling of rain in Ebbetts Pass

  September 13, 2015 at 12 Noon:  It's not enough to put out the Butte Fire, but any sprinkling of rain in Ebbetts Pass is welcome.

   A downpour would be wonderful, but unlikely. We'll take what we can get.

Traffic collision at Hwy 4 and Hwy 49

  September 13, 2015 at 11:30 AM:  A traffic collision has been reported at Hwy 4 and Hwy 49 in Angels Camp.

   CHP and other emergency personnel are en route to the scene. Use extra care if in that area.

Calaveritas Road blocked

   CHP now has Calaveritas Road blocked off. No one but emergency vehicles, PG&E and insurance inspectors are allowed in that area, due to the Butte Fire

   Don't try to get around the CHP or whoever is blocking the roadway. It is for your own safety.

Butte Fire containment increases

   September 13, 2015 at 9:15 AM:  The Butte Fire is now listed at 65,215 acres and is 20% contained.

    The firefighters work to contain this fire in steep terrain, with heavy brush and timber. We are all grateful for them.

Valley Fire in Lake County

   September 13, 2015 at 9:10 AM:  While Calaveras County seems to be being destroyed by one fire, the Butte, Lake County has had three giant fires.

   The Valley Fire, which started around 1:30 PM on September 12, 2015 has grown to over 40,000 acres in less than 24 hours. Some have said they didn't know they had that much left to burn.

Backfiring planned on Sheep Ranch Road

  UPDATE at 5 AM:  Once they start the backfires near Avery, residents need to be watchful for  burning embers more than before.

    As soon as it is daylight, get a hose out

Power lines down on Rocky Road in Calaveritas

   September 13 2015 at 5:50 AM:  Power lines are reportedly down on Rocky Road in Calaveritas due to the Butte Fire. PG&E has been requested to de-energize the area.

    And the fire moves closer to Angels Camp.

House on fire on Leonard Road in San Andreas

  UPDATE at 6:10 AM:  Fire is on the top of the Murray Creek Ridge. Concern is that it will head down towards Pope Street in San Andreas. Crews are attempting to hold the ridge.

   They are going to station engines on Pope Street and make some air drops as soon as it is daylight. They are talking about backfiring on the hill on Pope up to Murray Creek Ridge.

Loss of wireless connections in Calaveras

  Many in the county of Calaveras are without power and internet connections, not to mention phones and access to television coverage due to the Butte Fire.

Cal Fire says "please donate to the now homeless"

   Cal Fire has told us that they have received many offers of donations to the firefighters and Cal Fire itself.  We know that Californians are generous and wanting to help, but:

   State agencies and their employees are not allowed to accept direct donations, but if you fell like helping, give to those who have lost everything

Who is in charge of the Butte Fire??

   Many of our readers were asking who was actually in charge; at the top of the management team of the Butte Fire, since its located in both Amador and Calaveras counties.

Road Closures as of September 13, 2015

   CHP is still stationed at road closures in many areas of the Butte Fire.

    Hwy 4 at Avery Sheep Ranch Road in Avery, Calaveritas and Fricot City Road in Calaveritas, Hwy 49 and Gold Strike Road in San Andreas, Sheep Ranch Road and Algiers in Murpnys, Hwy 88 and Clinton Road in Amador County and Tabeaud and Clinton Road in Amador County.

Alert: Elderly person missing in Mountain Ranch

   Last seen at Mountain Ranch Community Park, an elderly person driving an older white Blazer is now on CHP's Silver Alert list for the Hwy 49 area in Calaveras County.

   We don't have any other details at this point. A fire of this magnitude can disorient even the strongest among us and is especially hard on the elderly, so watch out for anyone who seems to need help.

More homes destroyed in Butte Fire--The Rim Highway

   As of September 12, 2015 at 9:30 PM the Butte Fire has destroyed 86 homes and 51 outbuildings so far.