The Latest: California wildfire 20 percent contained

AP News
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Posted: Aug 04, 2015 11:45 PM
The Latest: California wildfire 20 percent contained

LOWER LAKE, Calif. (AP) — The latest on wildfires burning in California (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

Fire crews have made some progress against a stubborn fire that has consumed more than 101 square miles.

Cal Fire says that as of Tuesday afternoon the fire hasn't spread and it is now 20 percent contained.

Some 3,000 firefighters from near and far are working 24-hour shifts to fight the blaze.

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2:35 p.m.

A light rain began falling in the area in Northern California where a wildfire has been raging for almost a week but officials say the blaze is so massive the rain won't help much.

Cal Fire spokesman Jason Shanley says the rain will help a little but it's not enough to quench the fire.

Shanley says the fire "is just too big, too wild."

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1:25 p.m.

People at the Moose Lodge, where evacuees came earlier Tuesday to get pillows, apples and piles of French toast, are being advised to evacuate as the fire moves closer.

The lodge, just north of Clear Lake, was set up as a community assistance center for people and their pets. With 15 to 20 hour mph winds coming from the northwest, the lodge could be directly in the fire path later Tuesday.

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12:05 p.m.

Layna Rivas of Clear Lake said she woke up Tuesday and checked a map. She said it appears the fire went through her property Monday night. "I might be one of those people who've lost precious things," she said.

But she doesn't know for sure.

"Worst part is I can't get in to see what's been damaged or not. I'm praying the fires moved slowly and the clear-cutting I did before I left have kept some of my structures safe," she said.

Her place is called Ravens Haven, and she considers it a retreat for artists and musicians to escape into Mother Nature. "My heart is heavy at the thought of my once epic view of the valley that had an array of life and colors now grey and lifeless," she said.

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11:35 a.m.

Many people are aiding evacuees, handing out items such as pillows, apples and piles of French toast at a local Moose Lodge.

Tabetha Atwood, owner of Our Happy Tails Etc., a dog bakery in Clear Lake, helped match wayward dogs with their owners Tuesday. She also had dog treats on hand for folks who came by with their pets.

"These are our friends, our family and our neighbors," she said.

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10:45 a.m.

President Barack Obama is asking his aides to stay in close touch with California's governor and other local officials as firefighters tackle an unruly wildfire.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says Obama was briefed about the wildfire by his homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco. He says Obama is extending his gratitude to the men and women battling the fire and that the White House will be closely monitoring the situation.

The White House says the National Preparedness Level was raised on Monday to Level 4, which occurs when three or more regions have incidents requiring additional resources. There are 27 large, uncontained and active fires, being battled by 14,000 federal and state personnel.

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10:07 a.m.

Authorities say the number of homes threatened by an unpredictable wildfire in Northern California has risen to 6,900.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is sending more resources Tuesday to stop the blaze from growing, though it expanded overnight to more than 101 square miles.

More than 13,000 people have been required or urged to leave their homes. They have spent what may be just one of many nights in evacuation shelters, and many hotels are booking up.

Firefighters from inside and outside the state are fighting the blaze, including a crew from the central California city of Modesto.

Modesto Battalion Chief Hugo Patino says the fire is the "number one priority in the state" and getting the "lion's share" of resources.

Its cause is under investigation.

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8:10 a.m.

An unruly wildfire in drought-stricken Northern California has grown to more than 101 square miles despite thousands of weary firefighters working to stem its spread.

They tried to stand their ground Tuesday against the blaze that jumped a highway that had served as a containment line and grew by several square miles despite cooler weather and higher humidity.

No additional homes were consumed outside the two dozen already destroyed in the Lower Lake area, about 100 miles north of San Francisco. But more buildings such as barns, sheds and garages have burned.

Authorities have required or urged 13,000 people to leave some 5,500 homes.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says the flames are pushing north and chewing through parched brush that hasn't burned in years.

The fire is just 12 percent contained since starting Wednesday.