California Wildfire Threatens Several More Homes

July 17, 2014

A stubborn wildfire in Northern California that authorities blamed on marijuana-growing activity is threatening dozens of additional homes.

The Bully Fire around the rural community of Igo in Shasta County was threatening more than 68 structures, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Teresa Rea said Tuesday. Some of those homes were under mandatory evacuation orders, though she didn’t know exactly how many.

The fire, which began Friday and destroyed eight homes and 10 other structures, has chewed through nearly 13 square miles, or 8,100 acres, of forest land. It was 20 percent contained.

The rugged terrain and dry, hot conditions have proven difficult for firefighters, 10 of whom have suffered minor injuries, including heat exhaustion.

Rea said the mercury hit 111 degrees on Tuesday.

She said the fire was also fueled by thick oak and brush that haven’t burned in many years.

About 2,200 firefighters were working on the blaze. Cooler temperatures were expected later in the week, though officials said the wind could also kick up.

A 27-year-old Sacramento man was arrested Saturday and accused of recklessly causing the fire and with marijuana cultivation, both felonies, said the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Freddie Alexander Smoke III was delivering material to a pot site when the exhaust from his truck ignited dry grass, authorities said.

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