The Latest: California wildfire forces 4,000 from homes

AP News
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Posted: Aug 14, 2016 11:50 PM
The Latest: California wildfire forces 4,000 from homes

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

8:30 p.m.

About 4,000 people have fled their homes as a growing wildfire in Northern California burns into a town and destroys at least 10 homes.

Cal Fire officials say the fire about 90 miles north of San Francisco has grown to nearly 5 square miles since it erupted Saturday afternoon.

They have confirmed 10 homes destroyed, but eyewitnesses could see many more.

On Sunday afternoon, the flames jumped a road and marched into Main Street in Lower Lake, a town of about 1,200. A post office, a winery, a Habitat for Humanity office and several businesses were burned in the four-block strip.

A portion of Clearlake, a neighboring town of about 15,000, was also evacuated as firefighters struggled to get a handle on the largely out-of-control fire.

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7:20 p.m.

Officials say a wildfire in Central California has destroyed 12 homes and threatens 150 more.

Cal Fire spokesman Bennet Milloy says spot fires caused the day-old fire near Nacimiento Lake, about 180 miles northwest of Los Angeles, to grow from 2 to 6 square miles on Sunday.

The blaze shifted north toward the lake, prompting authorities to evacuate residents by boat.

Milloy said the fire was chewing through bone-dry brush and oak trees weakened by California's years-long drought. Firefighters battled the flames as temperatures soared to 104 degrees.

The fire is 10 percent contained.

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4:55 p.m.

A wildfire raging through dry brush and grass in Northern California has crossed a road and is moving north into a town of about 1,200.

Fire officials say evacuation orders were expanded to include an unknown number of people living east of State Route 53. The order affects Lower Lake and Clearlake, a neighboring community of about 15,000.

Cal Fire spokeswoman Suzie Blankenship said the fire was creating its own weather pattern and shifted direction Sunday afternoon into populated areas.

The blaze grew to 3 square miles and is only 5 percent contained.

Blankenship says the fire has destroyed at least four homes.

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3:15 p.m.

A blaze raging through dry vegetation in Northern California has jumped a containment line, setting several houses on fire and prompting firefighters and volunteers to evacuate horses, goats and other animals as homes burn around them.

Fire officials say evacuations were ordered in the Copsey Creek subdivision, north of Morgan Valley Road, Sunday afternoon.

Houses are burning on both sides of Morgan Valley Road and propane tanks are exploding, making a hissing noise and spewing balls of fire.

Firefighters and volunteers are carrying two goats at a time and taking them out of the area where tractors and utility poles are burning and bumpers are melting off cars as heavy smoke darkens the sky.

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2:50 p.m.

Fire officials say more evacuations have been ordered as a blaze continues to race through dry vegetation in a Northern California county hit hard last year by three wildfires.

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant says more evacuations were ordered Sunday afternoon in the Copsey Creek subdivision, east of Lower Lake.

Berlant says more than 700 firefighters are battling the 2-square-mile wildfire burning east and southeast of Highway 29 in Lake County.

About 3,000 people in Hidden Valley Lake, a subdivision south of the blaze, have been told to say vigilant in case the fire spread farther south.

The blaze, which started Saturday afternoon, is burning in the same area that was hit last year by three wildfires that destroyed more than 1,300 homes and killed four people.

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9:15 a.m.

Officials say a wildfire racing through dry vegetation in Northern California has destroyed four homes.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Sunday that the 2-square-mile blaze burning south of the town of Lower Lake has forced 1,200 residents to evacuate 500 homes.

The houses of about 3,000 people in a subdivision also are threatened.

The fire doubled in size overnight and is 5 percent contained. It is spreading rapidly because of dry conditions brought on by California's historic drought.

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant says fire crews are working in hot temperatures and no cloud clover to fight the blaze in Lake County.

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8:10 a.m.

Authorities say about 1,200 people in a Northern California lake community have been forced to flee flames racing through dry vegetation.

Suzie Blankenship, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said Sunday that 500 homes have been evacuated. She also says the houses of about 3,000 people in a subdivision are threatened.

The fire has chewed through more than 2 square miles south of the town of Lower Lake and is largely burning out of control.

Blankenship says fire activity could change at a moment's notice as crews fighting the blaze face high temperatures and no cloud cover.

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7:20 a.m.

A wildfire threatening homes in a Northern California lake community has more than doubled in size.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said early Sunday that the flames have chewed through more than 2 square miles south of Lower Lake, a town of about 1,300 people.

It's largely burning out of control in an area that was evacuated during a devastating wildfire last year after officials revised down the extent to which they've contained it.

Cal Fire says the fire was spreading rapidly because of dry conditions brought on by California's historic drought.

One structure has been destroyed, but it's unclear if it was a home or a smaller building. People have been forced to evacuate, but it wasn't immediately known how many homes were affected.