Doolittle and Bush to view scorched areas | SierraSun.com

Doolittle and Bush to view scorched areas

Trina Kleist
Sun News Service

Rep. John Doolittle, R-Roseville, will fly out to Northern California today with President George W. Bush to take an aerial tour of the areas devastated by wildfires.

The two will fly in Air Force One to Redding at about 2:30 p.m. today, where they will be briefed by the incident management team there, according to Doolittle’s office.

Federal emergencies have been declared in Butte and Plumas counties, both in Doolittle’s 4th Congressional District, and several towns have been evacuated. Fires also have scorched tens of thousands of acres in Nevada and Placer Counties, also in the district.

In Placer County, fires in the American River Complex continue to burn in steep terrain. Flames have torched more than 19,322 acres, and 831 firefighters have them 55-percent contained, according to Tahoe National Forest officials.

In Nevada and Sierra Counties, the Yuba River Complex of fires was contained on Tuesday at about 3,800 acres. But the Fall Fire continues to burn near Washington within the containment lines, and smoke will continue to foul the area’s air for weeks to come, forestry officials warned.

Most of the nearly 2,100 fires statewide were sparked by lightening strikes in a storm across the Sierra Nevada range on June 21; 43 fires remain active, according to Calfire, the state forestry and fire protection agency.

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More than 887,000 acres have burned across California, mostly in the Sierra Nevada and Coast ranges.

The U.S. Forest Service has set up a Web link people can use to thank firefighters at http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/tahoe.