- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The latest on wildfires burning in California and throughout the West (all times local):

7 p.m.

Fire officials say they have made progress against a massive wildfire raging in Northern California, and the blaze is now 30 percent contained.

Cal Fire is advising residents of the area to stay vigilant. It says changing winds could contribute to a flare-up.


6:45 p.m.

A mechanical saw at a fuels-reduction project near the California-Nevada line sparked a wildfire that has burned about 17 square miles of remote rugged forest and high desert 100 miles north of Reno.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management says no homes were threatened by the fire estimated to be 20 percent contained Wednesday night.


3:50 p.m.

The firefighters battling a huge blaze in Northern California are working 24-hour shifts as they struggle to bring it under control.

The National Interagency Fire Center has listed the fire 110 miles north of San Francisco as the nation’s highest priority for crews and equipment. It is the largest of 23 fires statewide and takes up about a third of the 10,000 firefighters dispatched in California.

But state fire officials say they prepared for a drought-fueled fire season and staffed up early with several hundred more firefighters than in previous years.


2:55 p.m.

An evacuation order for a small central Washington town has been lifted after a fast-growing wildfire bypassed the community.

Fire spokesman Ron Fryer says people are being allowed back in their homes in Roosevelt, located on the banks of the Columbia River about 120 miles east of Portland, Oregon.

He says none of the 350 homes that were threatened in the area have burned.

Fryer says residents remain under notice to be able to leave quickly if conditions change.

Fryer says the grass fire that began Tuesday has now grown to 26 square miles after being reported at 15 square miles earlier in the day.


12:20 p.m.

The bills for battling wildfires are adding up.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service released a report Wednesday illustrating the effect of rising firefighting costs on national forest conservation, restoration, recreation and management programs.

Firefighting costs now consume more than 50 percent of the Forest Service’s budget, compared with just 16 percent in 1995. They are expected to comprise two-thirds of the agency’s budget 10 years from now if left unaddressed.


10:55 a.m.

An entire small town in south central Washington remains under an evacuation order because of a growing wildfire.

About 300 people have been evacuated from Roosevelt, located on the banks of the Columbia River about 120 miles east of Portland, Oregon.

State and local crews on Wednesday were fighting the blaze about a mile north of the community on the Oregon border.

State officials say the fire had grown to more than 15 square miles and was threatening 350 homes in the remote area. Mandatory evacuation of the town was ordered Tuesday afternoon.


8:45 a.m.

At least 39 homes and 52 outbuildings have now been destroyed by an unruly Northern California wildfire that has been raging for a week.

The numbers jumped from Tuesday when two dozen homes and 26 outbuildings were destroyed. At least four structures have also been damaged by the fire.

The blaze has charred 106 square miles and it isn’t expected to be completely contained until at least Monday. It is about 20 percent contained.

The fire started last Wednesday. A cause has not been determined.


7:30 a.m.

Thousands of firefighters battling an unruly Northern California wildfire were aided by cooler temperatures and higher humidity.

But the fire is still less than a quarter contained Wednesday.

Firefighting officials said crews made some progress Tuesday with help from light rain. The blaze has charred 106 square miles and it isn’t expected to be completely contained until at least Monday.

The fire is burning about 110 miles north of San Francisco along rugged, parched terrain in Lake, Yolo and Colusa counties.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Since it started last week, more than 13,000 people were required or urged to leave their homes, vacation cabins and campsites.

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