Dozens of Burned Homes Found in Butte

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Now that the flames have subsided some,
firefighters have found dozens of additional homes destroyed by the
wildfires in Butte County.

State fire officials said Thursday that crews tallied 36 previously uncounted homes torched in the blazes that forced thousands of people to leave the towns of Paradise and Concow two weeks ago. That brings the total number of homes lost in the area since a June 21 lightning storm ignited thousands of fires in Northern California to 106.

Eighty more homes in and around Paradise were destroyed in an earlier fire that arson investigators say was set intentionally on June 11.

Officials said they expect the number of homes burned statewide, a figure that now stands at 158, to keep going up as firefighters make progress in containing the 31 wildfires that still were burning Thursday.

In the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, small communities in and around Junction City remained under mandatory evacuation orders.

In Big Sur, the California Department of Parks and Recreation reopened most of the campgrounds that were closed during the wildfire that burned 230 square miles in the area.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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