Butte County blaze spreads; additional evacuations ordered

Butte County’s Saddle Fire continued to grow Monday night, spreading to 600 acres with 10 percent containment, Cal Fire announced Tuesday morning.

The Saddle Fire erupted on Monday afternoon at 4:28 p.m. near Pentz and Lime Saddle Roads south of Paradise, an incorporated town in Butte County. It grew to 400 acres, officials said. By 9 p.m., it was 10 percent contained.

By Tuesday morning, three structures were destroyed by the blaze and an additional 300 structures were in danger, according to Cal Fire.

Additional evacuation orders for Pinkston Canyon Road and Nelson Bar Road were also issued by Tuesday morning, on top of the evacuations on Pentz Road between Malibu Drive and Messilla Valley Road already in place Monday night.

A shelter for evacuees was opened at Neighborhood Church in Chico, 2801 Notre Dame Blvd.

Road closures for Pentz Road from Pearson and Mellissa Valley roads and Lunt Road at Highway 70, were also in effect, according to Cal Fire.

North Thermalito Forebay and Lime Saddle campground, marina and day-use day use areas are closed, the California Department of Parks and Recreation reports.

The fire’s cause is still under investigation. It is the latest to scorch drought-stricken California this year, and Cal Fire said more than 5,000 firefighters were at work trying to corral eight major blazes statewide.

Sam Stanton: 916-321-1091, @StantonSam