REDDING, Calif. (AP) — A fire expert is blasting the National Park Service saying it allowed a Northern California blaze to smolder for more than a week before it grew into a raging wildfire.
Retired Shasta-Trinity National Forest Supervisor Steve Fitch said the Park Service let the Reading Fire feed on overgrowth before exploding into an inferno burning more than 42 square miles, the Redding Record Searchlight reports.
Fitch says it could take a century to repair the damage.
The fire remains at 28 percent containment as the more than 1,000 firefighters battling the blaze are bracing for a weekend of possible strong winds and thunderstorms.
A spokesman says the fire is threatening 148 homes, 50 commercial properties and 30 outbuildings.
It has cost nearly $10 million to fight the fire so far.
Information from: Record Searchlight, http://redding.com
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