Latest: Fire containment up, evacuees return in California

AP News
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Posted: Jul 12, 2017 10:36 AM
Latest: Fire containment up, evacuees return in California

OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on wildfires across the U.S. West (all times local):

7:10 a.m.

Crews have increased containment of a major Northern California wildfire that sent thousands fleeing homes over the weekend.

Officials on Wednesday also downgraded the number of structures threatened by the fire near Oroville from several thousand to roughly 600. Evacuees are slowly returning to their homes. At least 41 homes and 55 other buildings have been destroyed.

The blaze in the grassy foothills of the Sierra Nevada has burned nearly 9 square miles (23 square kilometers) and injured four firefighters. It's 60 percent contained.

A small wildfire east of San Jose has destroyed three homes and forced evacuations. It's 50 percent contained.

At least 3,500 people remain out of their homes from a pair of blazes in Santa Barbara County and officials have not said when the evacuation orders might be lifted.