Northern California wildfire burns 100 homes

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WEED, Calif. (AP) — A fire driven by fierce winds raced through the small Northern California town of Weed on Monday, burning a church to the ground, damaging or destroying 100 homes and prompting evacuation orders for at least 1,500 people.

CalFire spokeswoman Allison Giannini said the fire was 15 percent contained by dusk. She said the winds had begun to ease and the pace of the fire slowed.

For a while, authorities had to close Interstate 5, the main freeway between California and Oregon, in the area. The fire also knocked out power to most of the town, and people were left wandering the town center with flashlights Monday night.

Wildfires are also burning in central California south of an entrance to Yosemite National Park and in El Dorado County about 60 miles east of Sacramento.

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