Trio of California wildfires destroy or damage scores of homes; thousands evacuated

By The Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 15, 2014 at 9:51 p.m.



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WEED, Calif. (AP) — A trio of California wildfires has forced thousands of people from their homes.

Winds have been pushing a wildfire that erupted Monday toward a tiny town of Weed, near the base of Mount Shasta in Northern California. The fire has already damaged or destroyed 100 homes and forced at least 1,500 people to flee. The blaze has also burned down the town's Catholic church.

Fire officials say the 350-acre blaze was 15 percent contained by dusk but still advancing.

In central California, firefighters spent the day working to build and reinforce containment lines in steep terrain near a foothill community south Yosemite National Park. About 600 residents from 200 homes remain evacuated. Fire officials say that blaze has burned 320 acres and destroyed 61 structures, including 33 homes. It's 35 percent contained.

The third wildfire is burning about 60 miles east of Sacramento. It's forced the evacuation of 133 homes, but the El Dorado County sheriff has told residents more than 400 other homes to prepare to flee. The fire started Saturday and has burned nearly 13 1/2 square miles. It is only 5 percent contained.

%@AP Links

281-a-05-(Jeremy Rahn (rahn), battalion chief, CalFire, in AP interview)-"20 percent contained"-CalFire battalion chief Jeremy Rahn says crews have a ways to go before the fire will be fully contained. ((watch for dating)) (15 Sep 2014)

<<CUT *281 (09/15/14)££ 00:05 "20 percent contained"

284-a-07-(Jeremy Rahn (rahn), battalion chief, CalFire, in AP interview)-"recreational vehicles destroyed"-CalFire battalion chief Jeremy Rahn says homes aren't the only property damaged by the fire near Yosemite National Park. ((Yosemite is pronounced yoh-SEH'-mih-tee)) ((watch for dating)) (15 Sep 2014)

<<CUT *284 (09/15/14)££ 00:07 "recreational vehicles destroyed"

282-a-09-(Jeremy Rahn (rahn), battalion chief, CalFire, in AP interview)-"affecting fire behvior"-CalFire battalion chief Jeremy Rahn says fire crews are having a tough time on the fire near Yosemite National Park. ((Yosemite is pronounced yoh-SEH'-mih-tee)) ((watch for dating)) (15 Sep 2014)

<<CUT *282 (09/15/14)££ 00:09 "affecting fire behvior"

280-a-05-(Jeremy Rahn (rahn), battalion chief, CalFire, in AP interview)-"approximately 900 residents"-CalFire battalion chief Jeremy Rahn says the fire near Yosemite National Park is keep hundreds of people out of their homes. ((Yosemite is pronounced yoh-SEH'-mih-tee)) ((watch for dating)) (15 Sep 2014)

<<CUT *280 (09/15/14)££ 00:05 "approximately 900 residents"

283-a-11-(Jeremy Rahn (rahn), battalion chief, CalFire, in AP interview)-"six outbuildings damaged"-CalFire battalion chief Jeremy Rahn says dozens of buildings have been lost to the fire near Yosemite National Park. ((Yosemite is pronounced yoh-SEH'-mih-tee)) ((watch for dating)) (15 Sep 2014)

<<CUT *283 (09/15/14)££ 00:11 "six outbuildings damaged"

APPHOTO LA113: This Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 photo shows fire as it approaches the shore of Bass Lake, Calif. Crews are attempting to get better access to two raging wildfires in California Monday that have forced hundreds to evacuate their homes. (AP Photo/YosemiteLandscapes.com. Darvin Atkeson ) (7 Sep 2014)

<<APPHOTO LA113 (09/07/14)££

APPHOTO LA115: This Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 photo shows a firefighting helicopter making a water drop over a wildfire at Bass Lake, Calif. Crews attempted to get better access to two raging wildfires in California that have forced hundreds to evacuate their homes on Monday. (AP Photo/YosemiteLandscapes.com, Darvin Atkeson) (7 Sep 2014)

<<APPHOTO LA115 (09/07/14)££

APPHOTO LA116: This Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 photo shows a helicopter making a water drop while a second picks up water to fight a wildfire at Bass Lake, Calif. Crews attempted to get better access to two raging wildfires in California that have forced hundreds to evacuate their homes, including one near a lakeside resort that destroyed nearly two-dozen structures. (AP Photo/YosemiteLandscapes.com, Darvin Atkeson) (7 Sep 2014)

<<APPHOTO LA116 (09/07/14)££

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The Associated Press

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