UPDATE on Thompson Fire

Evacuations continue as the Thompson fire, in Butte County, near Oroville, rages.

The Thompson fire began at an estimated time at 11:45 on Cherokee Road and Thompson Flat Road in northern California, near the city of Oroville, on July 2,2024.

As of 1:00 pm on July 3, 13,000+ have been under evacuation orders, as the Thompson fire has continued to burn more than 3,002 acres with 0% containment.

The number of homes and other structures destroyed is unclear at this time.

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Red flag warnings are in effect in the area, including in the fire zone, due to extreme heat in the triple digits all week, gusty winds, and low humidity, all contributing factors to the challenge the firefighters are facing.

Four firefighters have been injured because of fighting this fire, as Governor Gavin Newsom announced a state of emergency. Firefighters from around the state, including from San Jose and  around the Bay Area, have come in to help in the effort, as reported by Action News Now live reporting and CAL FIRE.

The cause of the fire is still under active investigation. The resources being deployed to the Thompson fire are 199 engines, 49 water tenders, 8 helicopters, 46 dozers, and 33 hand crews, with total personnel of 1438, according to the information provided by CAL FIRE.

Cal Fire/Butte County Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, Pacific Gas & Electric, California Department of Water Resources, and Oroville Police Department are the main agencies on the ground.

Mandatory Evacuation Orders have been issued for the following zones:

  • But-KR-705
  • But-KR-713
  • But-KR-716
  • BUT-KR-709
  • BUT-KR-708
  • BUT-KR-704
  • BUT-ORO-953
  • BUT-ORO-958
  • BUT-ORO-965
  • BUT-ORO-954
  • BUT-ORO-959
  • BUT-ORO-960
  • BUT-ONE-731
  • BUT-KR-711
  • BUT-KR-707
  • BUT-KR-703
  • BUT-KR-710
  • BUT-KR-714
  • BUT-KR-712
  • BUT-OSE-801
  • BUT-OSE-809
  • BUT-OSE-808
  • BUT-OSE-818
  • BUT-OSE-807
  • BUT-ONE-730
  • BUT-OSE-828
  • BUT-CHE-532
  • BUT-OSE-817
  • But-OSE-806
  • BUT-KR-715
  • BUT-KR-701
  • BUT-KR-706
  • BUT-KR-702
  • BUT-KR-700
  • BUT-CHE-536
  • BUT-CHE-534
  • BUT-CHE-533
  • BUT-CHE-535
  • BUT-OSE-819
  • BUT-OSE-810
  • BUT-OSE-800
  • BUT-HUR-851

Evacuation warning: prepare to leave:

  • BUT-ORO-964
  • BUT-OSE-802
  • BUT-OSE-805
  • BUT-OSE-804
  • BUT-OSE-816
  • BUT-OSE-811
  • BUT-CHE-531
  • BUT-ONE-726
  • BUT-ONE-727
  • BUT-OSE-820

For information about zones and updated evacuation warning information, go to the Butte County GIS map.

Evacuation shelters are at the Oroville Church of the Nazarene: 2238 Monte Vista Ave, Oroville, CA, and Gridley/Butte Co. Fairgrounds: 199 E. Hazel St. Gridley, CA.

A large animal shelter has been opened at Camelot:1985 Clark Road in Oroville and a small animal shelter has been opened at 2279 Del Oro, in Oroville.

The roads to the Oroville Dam and Kelly Ridge areas have been blocked off by law enforcement, and access to and from those areas is not permitted for any reason for non-first responders. California Highway Patrol (CHP) has stated that it can be a few days before people are allowed back in the area.

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  • Aircraft Battleing the Thompson Fire.

  • a Line of Fire Across the river from the Thomspon fire as night begines to fall

  • Aircraft Battleing the Thompson Fire.

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Residents in the area have been on edge since the fire broke out and headed towards homes in town and the Kelly Ridge area. Currently the Thompson fire has made its way to the Oroville Dam’s main spillway as reported by the California Department of Water Resources.

Some residents like Jeannie and her husband told us “Glad that my husband and I are ok. We were in Sacramento when we heard about the fire. We live in Kelly Ridge and couldn’t get anything from our home, and now we can’t get to our home since the area has been evacuated.”

Some residents are stuck in town while their spouses, significant others, and loved ones are in the fire zone with no ability to leave, which adds a layer of stress for those involved.

“Well the fire gave me awful anxiety. I literally watered my house in fear of embers catching the house on fire as there is a breeze, then there was or is the fear of power being shutoff during all of this. I gathered some stuff but I don’t even have a car to pack in case of evacuation; the stress is real the more the fire grows and no containment is scary. Not having real news and seeing fake news is frustrating,” said Valerie a resident who lives in the warning evacuation zone.

“When the fire started, I thought they would have it out quickly like they did with the Bar fire and Apache fire the other day, and so I was surprised that this fire has grown to be so big, and with 0% containment it makes it very nerve-wracking when its nighttime and reaching bedtime and there’s still no update on a containment,” said Christina who also lives in a warning evacuation zone.

Be careful in Oroville if you have breathing issues because the air quality in town is low, and the smell of smoke is heavy in the air.

The Fourth of July Fireworks celebration at the Oroville Forebay has been canceled due to the Thompson Fire.

Butte County Officials have also asked people to be cautious about the fireworks they purchase and where they light them since the area is highly vulnerable to fire.

For more information stay with local coverage for the press conference, the Roadrunner Newspaper for evacuation notices and other updates.

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About the Contributors
Andrew Vojta
Andrew Vojta, Staff Writer
Hello, My name is Andrew I'm a second-semester student at the Butte Community College. This is my First Semester with the Roadrunner Newspaper Production team. I'm excited to work with a wide variety of people with a diverse background that really brings the paper to life for me. It's an awesome time to be on the production team as they are working on the 55th anniversary Magazine. I like to write about Crime, Homelessness, Music, and other things that are affecting and happening within the community at large. I appreciate everyone and thank you for taking time out of your day to come and read The Roadrunner. As a student learning the craft of Journalism, we can't get away from the use of Artificial Intelligence even with most phones and computers even come with them installed so I use Grammarly and other than that I just use it to experiment with but not for the use to write the story.

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