The Butte Lightning Complex (also known as the BTU Lightning Complex) began after an episode of dry lightning strikes on June 21st, around the Concow area. At its height, it had 27 fires, many of which are/were in remote areas. This complex threatens the communities of Paradise, Magalia, Concow, and various communities in between. This fire caused Butte County to be declared in a state of emergency on June 11th by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, allowing more free flowing funds towards the suppression and extinguishing on the fire. As of June 28, it was 15% contained, with firefighters from all over California helping to put out the blaze. While this is primarily a CDF (Cal Fire) fire, the following other agencies were/are involved: Butte County Fire, Chico Fire , Oroville Fire, Paradise Fire, CHP, Butte County Public Works, Butte County Sheriff, United States Forest Service, OES, LA County, Orange County, Alameda County, Ventura County, CDCR and California Conservation Corps.1 The Incident Command Post (ICP) is based at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds, and CAL FIRE Incident Command Team #9 heads the operations.
If someone would like to write a progression by day, please please please please do so. See Humboldt Fire for example. If this is done after the fire, there are many resources to look at, including archived ChicoER newspapers (not online, those vanish over time), http://www.wildlandfire.com, http://www.inciweb.org (when it's working), and http://www.fire.ca.gov/index_incidents_butte.php :-)
Nasa has some striking satellite images available in their Earth Observatory: [http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=14937&src=map]. There are links to previous day's images as well.
This map was made using road and water data from the U.S. Census Bureau 2007 Tiger data, and fire areas and city data from the United States Geological Survey. Created using QGIS, OpenEV with FWTools, Kml2shp, and Inkscape.
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1. Butte Lightning Complex, CAL FIRE, http://www.fire.ca.gov/index_incidents_butte.php