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Wildfire evacuations grow

High winds caused the Pine wildfire in Angeles National Forest in California to nearly double in size Wednesday night, even as a new Nevada blaze threatened Carson City homes.

BY HEATHER MOYER | BALTIMORE | July 15, 2004

High winds caused the Pine wildfire in Angeles National Forest in California to nearly double in size Wednesday night, even as a new Nevada blaze threatened Carson City homes.

In California, "it was a hard night," said Candace Hamilton, spokesperson for Angeles National Forest. The fire grew to over 8,400 acres, and has already burned one outbuilding. Hamilton said forest officials were waiting for more updates to see if any homes were burnt overnight.

More voluntary evacuations went into effect as the fire moved closer to residential areas, including Lake Hughes and Elizabeth Lake in northern Los Angeles County. Hamilton said there was no count for how many people have been evacuated so far.

Elsewhere in Southern California, several other wildfires are being brought under control. The Verbenia wildfire, 10 miles northwest of Palm Springs, is now 70% contained. Firefighters battling the 3,600-acre blaze are struggling with very dry conditions and steep terrain.

In Nevada, a new wildfire is threatening Carson City homes. The 8,200-acre Waterfall wildfire grew rapidly overnight, threatening several subdivisions. Mandatory evacuations are in effect for several areas, including Lake Tahoe State Park, King Canyon, and Ash Canyon.

"Timberline and Lakeview are still in the most imminent danger at this point," said Paddy Hardy, fire information officer for the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center. "This fire grew tremendously overnight due to high winds."

Hardy said they expect the winds to pick up again later today.

One structure has been lost so far to the Waterfall fire, and several local county agencies lost three firefighting vehicles. A local news van also burned with those vehicles, injuring one person.

Wildfires are now burning in 11 states across the country. So far this season, wildfires have burned over 3.7 million acres.


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