OROVILLE, Calif. — The Latest on wildfires in the western U.S. (all times local):
Northern California authorities have arrested a man suspected of lighting an illegal campfire that they believe started a blaze that has destroyed 10 homes, damaged five others and threatened hundreds of houses and other structures.
Investigators with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection arrested 29-year-old John Ballenger of Oroville on Wednesday, a day after the fire was reported. He was taken to jail, and jail records don’t show whether he’s represented by an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Firefighters say the fire isn’t contained at all and it is growing in hot and dry weather.
Authorities say a Northern California wildfire has destroyed 10 homes, is threatening 800 more and has forced people to evacuate.
The blaze that began Tuesday near the town of Oroville is among a series of wildfires burning across the U.S. West, including in and around California’s Yosemite National Park.
A popular road into the park has been closed and nearby towns evacuated.
The latest wildfire is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Oroville Dam, the nation’s tallest. Tens of thousands of residents downstream fled when the dam’s spillways crumbled earlier this year and led to fears of catastrophic flooding.
Months later, a wildfire about 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of the dam destroyed 41 homes in July.
Wildfires in Oregon and Montana also have prompted evacuations.