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Butte Fire: Amador County Evacuations Lifted

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

A California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation inmate work crew builds a containment line ahead of a wildfire in Sheep Ranch, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

6:20 p.m. - Cal Fire says the Butte Fire has grown to 71,780 acres, with containment now at 40 percent.

The latest incident update includes a repopulation safety advisory:

On behalf of CAL FIRE Incident Management Team I, public safety is our main concern. As mandatory evacuations are being lifted throughout the affected fire areas, we want to remind the public that a safety advisory in still in effect. As residents return back into their homes, please be advised that an active fire still exists in the area and remain alert to any changes in fire conditions. Please use caution as emergency vehicles and personnel are still in the area.


2:11 p.m. Cal Fire says all evacuations and road closures in Amador County have been lifted  as of Tuesday afternoon.

The Butte Fire has burned 71,660 acres and is 37 percent contained. 


Calaveras County evacuations are still in effect for: 

West Murray Creek/Murraydale Lane (Entire Street). All areas east from Mountain Ranch Road at Calaveritas Road south to Fricot City Road, Calaveritas Road (The east side of Calaveritas), Costa Road south to Fourth Crossing to Hwy 49. (The southeast side). East side of Hwy 49 at Fourth Crossing, South to Cosgrove. (Cosgrove is not evacuated but is under and Advisory). All areas north from Dogtown Road at French Gulch creek east to San Domingo Road to Sheep Ranch Road. The areas north along Sheep Ranch Road at Avery Sheep Ranch to the intersection of Morris Rd/Valley View Road.

Hwy 26 in Mokelumne Hill at Italian Vista to West Point all areas to include Glencoe, Westpoint and Wilseyville. Bald Mountain Road, Winton Road Blue Mountain Road, Mitchell Mill Road, Skunk Hollow Road.

The entire areas of Railroad Flat, Mountain Ranch and Sheep Ranch, to include all outlying areas east of these towns. Summit Level Road, Swiss Ranch Road, Armstrong Road and Scott Road

8 a.m. In the foothills, the Butte Fire has grown to more than 71,000 acres. Cal Fire has it 37 percent contained.

More than 160 residents of Amador and Calaveras Counties have had their homes destroyed by the blaze, with 6,400 structures still threatened.

Betsy Miller lives in Amador County, east of Jackson. Her home is still standing. 

"When you live up here, you know that you live in fire country, and you just, you are prepared for it," she says. "You need to think about it when you live up here. So we try to make it as fire worthy as we possibly could. But in a crown fire or a fire that's driven by strong winds, even that doesn't work."

She returned home Sunday for the first time after evacuating with her husband last Thursday.

"I think the closest the fire ever got to us was probably about a mile and a half," she says. "But it doesn't matter because it can move so fast that when it's that close you become very worried and very concerned."

Evacuation orders in place include:

Hwy 29 x Hwy 53, South on Hwy 29 to Tubbs Lane in Napa County, all of Hwy 175 in the Cobb area, Point Lakeview to Soda Bay on Hwy 281, all of Bottle Rock Road and High Valley Road. Butts Canyon Road from Hwy 29 to Napa County line (including all of Berryessa Estates). The communities of Twin Lakes, Hidden Valley Lake, Middletown, Aetna Springs, Seigler Canyon, Loch Lommond, and the Riviera Areas.

7:25 a.m. Some people in Amador County are being allowed back in their homes after being evacuated for a couple of days because of the Butte Fire burning east of Jackson.

Betsy Miller is one of them. She and her husband had to evacuate last Thursday. They returned to their undamaged home Sunday.

"I think the closest the fire ever got to us was probably about a mile and a half," says Miller. "But it doesn't matter because it can move so fast that when it's that close you become very worried and very concerned."

Cal Fire says the Butte Fire, which has blackened more than 71,660 acres, is now 35 percent contained. 

6:45 a.m. - In the foothills, the Butte Fire has grown overnight to more than 71,660 acres. Cal Fire has it 37 percent contained.

More than 160 residents of Amador and Calaveras Counties have had their homes destroyed by the blaze, with 6,400 structures still threatened.

Betsy Miller lives in Amador county, east of Jackson. She and her husband evacuated last Thursday and returned home Sunday.

"And when you live up here, you know that you live in fire country, and you just, you are prepared for it," says Miller. "You need to think about it when you live up here. So we try to make it as fire worthy as we possibly could. But in a crown fire or a fire that's driven by strong winds, even that doesn't work."

Miller's home was not damaged or burned by the Butte Fire.

Repopulation for residents took place Monday night at around 9:30 p.m. in the Town of San Andreas:

  • Gold Strike Road through Pope St to Mountain Ranch Road
  • Mountain Ranch Road west to Hwy 49
  • Hwy 49 north to SR 26 (Mokelumne Hill) continuing northbound Hwy 29 to the Calaveras/Amador County line (only in unburned areas)

However, some evacuation orders are still in place for:

(Amador County) Canyon View, Fig Tree Lane, and Ponderosa Way; Tabeau Road south of Arrowhead to Amador Road, Ranch Drive and Aqueduct Grove Road.

(Calaveras County) West Murray Creek/Murraydale Lane (entire street). All areas east from Mountain Ranch Rd at Calaveritas Rd south to Fricot City Rd, Calaveritas Rd (the east side of Calaveritas), Costa Rd south to Fourth Crossing to Hwy 49 (southeast side). East side of Hwy 49 at Fourth Crossing, south to Cosgrove (Cosgrove is not evacuated but is under an advisory). All areas north from Dogtown Rd at French Gulch Creek east to San Domingo Rd to Sheep Ranch Rd. The areas north along Sheep Ranch Rd at Avery Sheep Ranch to intersedction of Morris Rd/Valley View Rd.

Road Closures:

(Amador County) Clinton Road at Butte Mountain Road (Both Ends) Butte Mountain Road Cutoff at Clinton Road. Amador Lane at Clinton Road, Electra at SR 49, Ponderosa Road at Tabeau, Access to Lake Tabeau is closed; Aqueduct Grove Road at Hwy 88, SR 26 South of Hwy 88.

(Calaveras County) SR 26 from Mokelumne Hill to Ridge Road; Ridge Road closed to Railroad Flat Road; Railroad Flat Road closed to Mountain Ranch Road; Mountain Ranch Road closed to Hwy 49; Michel Road is closed. Leonard Rd at Gold Strike Rd in San Andreas.

-Chris Nichols / Capital Public Radio