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Butte Fire Summary Timeline

The Butte Fire started Wednesday, September 9th at 2:36PM and burned 70,868 acres. A total of 921 structures were destroyed including; 549 homes, 368 outbuildings, and 4 commercial properties. Another 44 structures were damaged. It took three weeks to fully contain and took the lives of two people. Donations and assistance provided locally by The Resource Connection here and the American Red Cross here.

Butte Fire Map

9/9/15 Butte Fire Acreage Grows from 160 acres initially, to 1,200 acres with an estimated 30% containment. Cal Fire confirms the Butte Fire burning in the Mokelumne River drainage jumped the river into Calaveras County — and is one and the same as the vegetation fire earlier reported in Mokelumne Hill.

9/10/15 Butte Fire Acreage Triples

  • 2,600 overnight reported at 6am Thursday
  • 4,000 acres reported at 7am
  • Some Calaveras Schools Closed
  • 14,000 acres reported at 9am
  • Mother Lode Skies Filled With Drift Smoke
  • Calaveras Supervisors Declaring Local State Of Emergency
  • Tax Relief For Damaged Property
  • Cal Fire spokesperson Nancy Longmore, “What we’re seeing out the window is pretty daunting. Early this morning, the [Cal Fire] website said that the fire is spreading in all directions and that is absolutely true,” she states. “The main thing that is spreading this fire is the extremely dry conditions, not just the grass, but the brush and the trees are as dry as dry can be after four years of drought – and that, coupled with the steep terrain and the wind — is just allowing this fire to go nuts, similar to what the Rim Fire was doing two years, ago.”

9/11/15 Butte Fire Evacuation Shelter Switch

  • Friday acreage went from 31,974 acres to 64,728 acres.
  • Fire Resources Ramp Up, Calaveras Unified Cancels Classes
  • Public Information Officer Julie Rider notes firefighting hampered [Saturday] due to an inversion layer, with low lying smoke, that prevented aircraft from flying.
  • Red Cross Leads Evacuation Centers Efforts
  • Governor Jerry Brown declared the Butte Fire a statewide emergency.

9/12/15 Butte Fire Overnight Suppression Efforts

  • Day Four: Evacuations Remain
  • Unit Chief White Recaps Butte Fire
  • At least one case of looting reported Saturday morning in relation to the Butte Fire. The Placer CHP division reports that a suspect was taken into custody
  • Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office responds to looting complains: Law enforcement is brought in from outside the area, through mutual aid agreements, to help provide additional patrol.
  • Saturday to Sunday the Butte Fire grew an additional 18,572

9/13/15 Butte Fire’s Destructive Path

  • Butte Fire Power Outages Declining
  • CAL Fire reports 135 homes and 79 outbuildings have been destroyed while four additional structures were damaged. Those numbers come from the damage assessment team after a second day on the burn footprint. The fire’s containment is 25% with the acreage only growing 85 acres to 65,300.

9/14/15 Butte Fire 35% Contained at 71,523 Acres

9/15/15 Butte Fire Overnight Focus On Further Re-population

9/16/15 The Flames Take More Homes 45% containment

9/17/15 Homes In Ruin Increase

9/18/15 Butte Fire Containment Grows, Size Holds

9/19/15 Butte Fire Containment 67%

9/20/15 Butte Fire Containment Climbs, All Roads Open

9/21/15 Butte Fire Reaches 74% Containment

9/22/15 Butte Fire Destroyed Home Figures Drop

  • 80% containment, the acreage is up slightly to 70,868.

Week 2 Butte Fire Containment Continues Climb

9/24/15 Butte Fire Crews Close In On Full Containment

9/25/15 Butte Fire Reaches 93% Containment

9/26/15 No Movement on Butte Fire Figures