22 June:Thunderstorms have sparked as many as 75 wildfires in a wilderness area in far Northern California as officials farther south got close to containing a blaze that destroyed several homes and forced thousands to evacuate.
Storms overnight Friday were responsible for the large number of fires in Shasta-Trinity National Forest, near Redding, on Saturday.Those fires range in size from less than an acre to more than 750 acres.
None immediately threatened homes, said Forest Service spokesman Michael Odle.Teams moved in on Saturday on the two largest fires.
South of San Francisco, a fire that burned homes and closed a stretch of highway was 90 per cent contained and could be surrounded by the end of the day, said officials of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
It had charred 630 acres, or around 2.59 sq km.However, evacuation orders remained in place yesterday for the roughly 2,000 people who fled their homes on Friday.Some evacuees spent the night at an emergency shelter set up at a local school.
About 650 firefighters were working in hot, dry weather to contain the blaze, which destroyed as many as 15 buildings, including several homes, and closed scenic Highway 1 in Santa Cruz County for hours, fire officials said.
The cause of the fire was still under investigation, Van Gerwen said.It was the third major blaze to hit Santa Cruz County in the past month.Courtsey : DD NEWS