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Numerous wildfires plague California

Hundreds of residents forced to flee wildfires

September 15, 2014

Several California wildfires have forced hundreds of residents to evacuate as firefighters contend with hot weather and steep, dry terrain.

Firefighters on Sunday battled out-of-control wildfires that broke out in Northern California over the weekend and forced residents to flee their homes.

The region of Yosemite National Park has been hit particularly hard, with a new wildfire in the area destroying several homes, authorities said.

The Courtney fire began about 1:40 p.m. near Oakhurst- the same area where the Junction fire destroyed at least eight homes in August. Sunday’s flames overtook a ridge line at the Bass Lake heights community southwest of Yosemite and ripped through the residential community, forcing about 1,000 people to evacuate.

The destructive fire led Gov. Jerry Brown to secure a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover 75 percent of the cost of fighting the fire, state officials said.

At the same time, 800 firefighters battled a fire burning through more than 2,500 forested acres in El Dorado County. It grew by about 900 acres overnight to 3,900 acres, or a little more than 6 square miles. Just 10 percent was contained by nightfall, said a spokesman for the state’s firefighting agency.

El Dorado County’s sheriff’s officials said residents were being told to prepare to flee. The blaze started in a remote area Saturday but exploded on Sunday when it reached a canyon full of thick, dry brush.

East of Sacramento, the King fire has forced several communities to evacuate near Pollock Pines as the fire line pushes northeast through canyons along the American River. The fire has burned about 3,000 acres and was 10 percent contained Sunday, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Meanwhile, in the Cleveland national Forest on the edge of Orange County, the Silverado fire has started to wind down. Crews dispatched from across Southern California are returning home as firefighters wrap around the blaze, which has burned about 968 acres. It was 50 percent contained overnight, but winds were expected to pick up Monday.

Numerous smaller wildfires continue to burn throughout the state.

On the northern edge of California, the happy Camp Complex-fire- the state’s largest current wildfire- has burned more than 111,000 acres and was 55 percent contained.

Six firefighters have suffered minor injuries, many of them from heat exhaustion as the region baked under triple-digit temperatures.

A heat wave was expected to last through Tuesday in Southern California, and a smoke advisory was in effect for parts of Riverside and Orange counties.

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