The Orion

Over 1,200 homes destroyed in North Complex Fire; fire weather watch in effect this weekend

Over 1,200 homes destroyed in North Complex Fire; fire weather watch in effect this weekend

Chloe Curtis, Editor-in-Chief

September 23, 2020

The North Complex Fire is nearing containment at 78% after over 301,700 acres have burned since the fire erupted earlier this month.  News items from the community briefing included:  Over 1,200 single-residence structures have been destroyed The grand total of destroyed structures...

What District Are You In? City Council Elections Right Around the Corner

Odd-numbered districts in Chico will be up for election on Nov. 3.

Joel Moret, Reporter

September 22, 2020

The first Chico City Council general municipal election since the introduction of a new district map is set for Nov. 3.  The approved map branched Chico into seven districts. District 4, which contains communities closest to Chico State, will not be voting for a representative this November. Ho...

Chico businesses hit with triple-whammy: state restrictions, COVID-19 and fire smoke

The past month businesses in Chico have faced the impacts of both the global pandemic and unhealthy air conditions caused by nearby wildfires. Photo taken Sept. 16, 2020.

Dylan Griffith, Reporter

September 20, 2020

Butte County Public Health held a meeting Thursday, Sept. 17 where some Chico business owners and other community members expressed outrage over state- and county-mandated restrictions. Recent fires, an uptick in COVID-19 deaths and strict reopening guidelines have increased tensions in the politic...

North Complex Fire reaches 40% containment; now one of California’s Top 5 deadliest and largest wildfires

Cal Fire map of North Complex Fire, Sept. 18, 2020

Matthew Wreden and Chloe Curtis

September 18, 2020

The North Complex Fire has burned more than 10,000 acres since Wednesday’s community briefing—although weather conditions have been favorable in its gradual containment. “Between pandemics, other fires, civil unrest, I just want to make sure that people don’t forget this incident,” sai...

1 new death, 2 remain missing in North Complex Fire; favorable weather conditions impeding fire’s spread

Cal Fire map of North Complex Fire, Sept. 13

Matthew Wreden and Chloe Curtis

September 14, 2020

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea confirmed one new death on Monday, bringing the North Complex Fire death toll to 15. News items from Monday’s community briefing included: Butte County has received 182 welfare calls; 165 people have been located, 2 are unaccounted for and 15 are confirmed dead2 new a...

2 additional deaths confirmed; unhealthy air to linger for weeks

Cal Fire map of North Complex Fire, Sept. 13

Chloe Curtis and Matthew Wreden

September 13, 2020

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea confirmed two additional deaths Sunday, raising the North Complex Fire death toll to 14. The fire has burned more than 261,000 acres and containment is 26%. The West Zone of the fire in Butte County has burned 74,000 acres and is 18% contained. “A critical period of weath...

3 more deaths from North Complex Fire; task force preparing for harsher weather conditions

Screenshot of damaged structures from CalFire's interactive map

Matthew Wreden and Chloe Curtis

September 12, 2020

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea confirmed 3 more deaths Saturday, raising the North Complex Fire death toll to 12.  The fire has burned more than 250,000 acres but remains at 21% containment. In the West Zone, 73,000 acres have burned and containment is only 10%. An additional 3,000 acres have b...

Gov. Newsom signs inmate firefighter legislation in Butte as historic blaze rages on the ridge

CalFire map of the North Complex Fire, Sept. 11, 2020

Chloe Curtis, Kimberly Morales, and Matthew Wreden

September 11, 2020

California Gov. Gavin Newsom arrived in Butte County on Friday amid the raging North Complex Fire and signed legislation, AB-2147, striking down barriers for inmate firefighters to become licensed after serving their sentences.  "Inmates who have stood on the frontlines, battling historic fires...

Q&A: CSU Chancellor responds to The Orion’s Spring 2021 questions

CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White

Kimberly Morales and Julian Mendoza

September 11, 2020

Chancellor Timothy P. White announced Thursday in a letter to all 23 institutions in the CSU system that most Spring 2021 classes will meet online. Following the announcement, The Orion posed some questions for The Chancellor’s Office that matter most to students.  Q: Will the CSU be providing ...

10 dead in North Complex Fire; over 60,000 acres burned and 0% containment for West Zone

Campus on Sept. 9 during the North Complex Fire

Matthew Wreden, Chloe Curtis and Kimberly Morales

September 10, 2020

The North Complex Fire continues to burn throughout Plumas, Yuba and Butte counties as firefighters and other personnel work around the clock to gain traction on the historic fire.  “It’s sad,” said Butte County Sheriff’s Office Captain Derek Bell. “That’s about as clear as I ca...

North Complex Fire raging near Oroville; 3 dead, 12 missing, 2,000 structures damaged or destroyed

Campus on Sept. 9 during the North Complex Fire

Chloe Curtis, Kimberly Morales, and Matthew Wreden

September 9, 2020

A Butte County fire task force held a press conference Wednesday night on Facebook Live to update the community on the rapidly evolving North Complex Fire near Oroville.   “This is the part of my presentation that I’ve been dreading,” Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said with a somb...

Butte County Public Health calls out college-age population for COVID-19 surge, Chico State students under investigation

Front view of Kendall Hall

Kimberly Morales, Editor

September 2, 2020

Butte County Public Health announced on Wednesday that within a week, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among people ages 18-24 in Butte County had risen by 557.  Of the 557 cases, 464 of the confirmed cases were from Chico. As Labor Day weekend approaches, BCPH urged the 18-24 ag...

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