The Latest: Fire from trees spread to 13 homes California

AP News
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Posted: Sep 28, 2016 12:15 AM

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):

9:00 p.m.

Authorities say embers from eucalyptus trees engulfed in flames spread to 13 homes, destroying four houses in a Petaluma, California neighborhood of modest homes bordered by a major highway.

Petaluma fire Battalion Chief Jeff Holden says damage in the other homes ranged from a scorched fence to burned backyard decks, sheds and windows.

One woman was injured and received burn blisters on the bottom of one foot.

Holden says the fire started in grass near an off ramp of Highway 101 and blown by the wind into eucalyptus leaves.

Holden tells the Press Democrat authorities evacuated about 20 homes and shut down most northbound lanes for nearly two hours.

He says dozens of firefighters from nearby cities joined the Petaluma fire crews to fight the blazes with the last crew clearing the scene five hours after the fires started.

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5:15 p.m.

Authorities say at least five homes are burning in a Petaluma, California, neighborhood near Highway 101, forcing officials to close several northbound lanes.

The California Highway Patrol says the fire may have started in grass along the highway, spread to trees and then jumped to four homes.

The CHP says fire crews from numerous agencies are working on the blazes on Stuart Drive.

Petaluma Police Lt. Tim Lyons tells the Press Democrat that it's not clear if the fire started along the freeway or in one of the houses.

Lyons says he saw burning roofs, but the dense smoke made it difficult to see the full extent of the damage.

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10:05 a.m.

Authorities say at least 300 buildings are threatened by a growing wildfire in California's Santa Cruz Mountains.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Tuesday that the blaze in a rugged area about 30 miles south of San Jose has destroyed one home, damaged another structure and charred more than 1½ square miles of dry brush and timber.

It's unclear if the threatened buildings were homes or smaller structures. The flames also are burning close to television and radio towers.

Hundreds of people were evacuated after the fire broke out Monday amid a heat wave, and more residents were ordered to leave as the flames spread overnight.

More than 500 firefighters are battling the blaze, which is 5 percent contained.

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6:05 a.m.

More residents have been ordered from their homes as a growing wildfire threatens remote communities in California's Santa Cruz Mountains.

Cal Fire said Tuesday that the blaze in a rugged area about 30 miles south of San Jose has destroyed one home and charred more than 1.5 square miles of dry brush and timber.

Hundreds were evacuated after the fire broke out Monday amid a heat wave, and more residents were ordered to leave as the flames spread overnight. Officials didn't say how many homes are affected.

The fire is 5 percent contained.

The blaze sparked on the southern edge of Santa Clara County is also threatening television and radio towers.

Meanwhile to the north evacuation orders were lifted as crews gained control over a fire that threatened homes and The Geysers geothermal complex in Sonoma County.