All Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Butte Fire

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Sunday brought good news for those displaced by the devastating Butte Fire. All mandatory evacuations had been lifted and people started returning to their homes, but not everyone was so lucky.

The number of residences destroyed by the flames jumped from 252 Thursday evening to 535 Sunday morning, according to Cal Fire. Three hundred forty-three outbuildings were reportedly knocked down as of Sunday because of the blaze, compared to the 188 reported Thursday. The reason for the major increase is more access and authorities said those number could slightly go up as others areas are discovered.

"This rural area has a lot of small roads that aren't accessible. Now that we've had the opportunity to get in and travel all those roads, we've been able to do a much more accurate count," said Butte Fire Public Information Officer Hugo Patino.

Joseph Adams is one Amador County resident who lost his home to the devastating fire. He evacuated last week and was allowed back on his property, off Mountain Ranch Road in San Andreas, Saturday. The home he and his wife had been living in for more than 30 years was completely leveled by the fire. Adams said while all his belongings were destroyed, he plans to rebuild his home.

"I bought it 33 years ago. Everything is burned down that is going to burn so why not rebuild in the same spot?" he said.

The fire was 70 percent contained as of Sunday morning and had scorched 70,760 acres, but authorities are confident in lifting mandatory evacuation orders. Patino said he does not expect the flames to jump fire lines.

Patino's suggestion to people who are going back into their homes is to be aware of spoiled food, downed power lines and utilities not working.