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Wildfire burns over six acres and destroys three structures

By Tyler May, tmay@krcrtv.com
Published On: Jul 13 2013 01:55:26 AM CDT
OROVILLE, Calif. -

A fire rips through six acres of land burning three structures and partially destroying a marijuana plantation in Oroville.

The fire broke out around 3 p.m. Friday forcing neighbors to act quickly and get ready to leave their homes.

Firefighters fought back flames and quickly saved homes on View Lane.  Cal Fire says this fire could have gotten out of hand very quickly.

“I thought for sure it was going to burn,” said Kathy Popa.

Popa and her family are breathing easier after spending the afternoo watching a wildfire head straight for their home.

“There was black smoke just where I can see and fire coming with it heading straight for my house,” said Popa.

The change in the winds is what steered the fire towards her neighbor Kathleen Mulkerrin's house.

“You got to hit these things hard it takes a little hard to get out here. So, a lot of buildings with very little clearance around them,” said Battalion Chief Russ Fowler.

Cal Fire took to the air and ground to contain the fire.  Even bulldozing fire lines around Kathleen’s property to make sure it didn't make its way through the neighborhood.

“A truck just drove it seemed like from where i was standing right through the flames and just stopped to save her house. That was pretty amazing!” said Popa.

What started the fire is still a mystery but firefighters say it started near a marijuana plantation that's just down the road from Kathy’s home.

“So I’m glad that burned as far as that goes,” said Popa.

“It started in and around there but I can't say if it started in the plantation,” said Fowler.

Cal Fire doesn't know who owns that plantation but they have turned the scene over to the sheriff's office.  Officials say they're glad they got a jump on this fire before it got out of hand.

“Any fire that gets large is going to threaten communities and people and we have to attacks fires quick with heavy assaults so they don't have a sporting chance,” said Fowler.

While Cal Fire does not yet have an official cause, they want to remind everyone to be careful with motorized equipment such as lawn mowers, tractors, and even motorcycles; especially, in the dangerous summer months.