Fires

Big grass blazes in Tehama, Glenn counties. Wildfire season has begun

Chico Air Attack Base prepares to fight wildfires

Firefighters at the Chico Air Attack Base load air tankers to support the Tehama-Glenn Unit of Cal Fire.
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Firefighters at the Chico Air Attack Base load air tankers to support the Tehama-Glenn Unit of Cal Fire.

Two large grass fires in Tehama and Glenn counties have burned through more than 5,000 acres combined since igniting Saturday afternoon in what some officials said was the start of the state's annual wildfire season.

The 2,956-acre Apple Fire, which started west of Corning at 2:10 p.m., destroyed three structures and six outbuildings, and was 85 percent contained as of 2 p.m. Sunday, Cal Fire said in a press release. Thirty firefighters are fighting that Tehama County blaze, which has not caused any injuries or evacuations, Cal Fire said.

The Chrome Fire started northwest of Elk Creek at 3:32 p.m. and prompted a much larger response. Two hundred forty-six people are fighting the fire from the ground and the air, and the Glenn County sheriff's office of emergency services issued a mandatory evacuation order for Elk Creek, which was lifted hours later.

The Chrome Fire has burned 2,242 acres and is 50 percent contained, Cal Fire said. No injuries have been reported, but one building was destroyed.

Tehama County Fire Department spokesman Jim Didio said wind was whipping through the grass at 20 miles an hour Saturday afternoon when the fires started, which "got them going good." Now, though, he said the wind has died down, and he doesn't expect further complications with either fire.

Didio confirmed that wildfire season has arrived in California.

“It’s getting to that point and everything’s turning brown finally," he said. "It’s getting that time to really pay attention.”

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