700-acre California fire threatens homes, prompts evacuations

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 22, 2015 10:03 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A 700-acre fire burning in Northern California on Wednesday has threatened homes, prompted evacuations and forced the closure of a highway, fire officials in the drought-parched state said.

The so-called Wragg Fire near Lake Berryessa, some 75 miles north of San Francisco, was sparked around 2:30 p.m. by a vehicle accident, according to CalFire, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention.

CalFire said 300 firefighters and four helicopters had been dispatched by the evening to battle the rapidly growing blaze, which cut across the rugged, steep and brush-covered terrain.

Erratic winds made fighting the fire more difficult, officials said, adding that a stretch of Highway 128 near the fire was shutdown.

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Three hikers were rescued from an area south of the lake, CalFire said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)