Butte Fire

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Butte Fire
LocationJackson, Amador County, California
Coordinates38°19′47″N 120°42′15″W / 38.32974°N 120.70418°W / 38.32974; -120.70418Coordinates: 38°19′47″N 120°42′15″W / 38.32974°N 120.70418°W / 38.32974; -120.70418
Date(s)September 9, 2015 (2015-09-09) – October 1, 2015 (2015-10-01)
Burned area70,868 acres (287 km2)
  • 475 residences
  • 343 outbuildings
  • 45 structures damaged
Butte Fire is located in California
Butte Fire
Location of fire in California

The Butte Fire was a rapidly moving wildfire during the 2015 California wildfire season that started on September 9 in Amador County, California.[1] The fire burned 70,868 acres (287 km2).

The fire started at 2:26 P.M. on Wednesday, September 9, just east of Jackson, when a tree came into contact with a power line, and quickly grew to over 14,500 acres (59 km2) by that evening.[3] By Thursday, the fire had spread into Calaveras County and more than doubled in size over 32,000 acres (129 km2).[4] Officials stated that the fire was expanding in all directions and that efforts were being hampered by difficult topography.[4]

Early on Friday, September 11, Cal Fire issued a mandatory evacuation for all of San Andreas, as the fire exploded again to 64,000 acres (259 km2), but at 4:30 P.M. PDT, that order was lifted.[5] Officials from the Amador County Unified School District chose to close all schools in the district on Friday as well.[5] Later that day, as the fire continued to grow, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Amador and Calaveras counties.[6]

On September 16, the Calaveras County coroner announced that the bodies of two people had been found in the Mokelumne Hill and Mountain Ranch areas.[2]

On June 22, 2017, Sacramento Judge Allen Sumner ruled that because "...the Butte Fire was caused by a public improvement as deliberately designed and constructed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company," the company is liable for all property damages caused by the fire.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Butte Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Brouwer, Shawn (September 16, 2015). "Calaveras Coroner: 2 residents killed in Butte Fire". KCRA. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Cowan, Jason (2017-06-28). "Judge orders PG&E liable for damages in 2015 Butte Fire". Calaveras Enterprise. Archived from the original on 2017-09-02. Retrieved 2017-10-10.
  4. ^ a b Helsel, Phil (September 11, 2015). "California Town of 2,700 Warned Ahead of Explosive Wildfire". NBC News. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Heise, Sarah (September 11, 2015). "San Andreas residents prepare to leave as wildfire surges". KCRA. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  6. ^ Serna, Joseph; Rocha, Veronica (September 11, 2015). "Brown declares state of emergency in 65,000-acre Gold Country fire". LA Times. Retrieved September 12, 2015.