California wildfire threatens 600 buildings after forcing thousands to evacuate


A fast-moving wildfire driven by hot, dry and windy conditions threatened more than 600 houses and other structures in Northern California early on Tuesday after requiring some 3,000 homeowners to evacuate the area.

The Pawnee Fire, which broke out on Saturday near the Mendocino National Forest 110 kilometres northwest of Sacramento, had actually destroyed 22 buildings and charred more than 4,200 hectares by late Monday night, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Lake County, the location of the blaze, on Monday.

The scores of firefighters who will seek to contain it on Tuesday deal with the possibility of temperature levels of 35 C, 24 km/h winds and 30 per cent humidity, according to the National Weather Service.

The fire was 5 percent included on Monday night, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection stated.

The Pawnee is one of 4 major wildfires burning in California as temperature levels increase across the state. None are reported to have caused injuries.

To the east, the Lane fire in Tehama County had blackened 1,537 hectares and threatened 200 buildings, fire officials stated. It was 40 percent included.

The Shu Fire burning some 80 kilometres east of Sacramento near the El Dorado National Forest, was threatening the neighborhood of Happy Valley, fire authorities stated, prompting evacuations and road closures. That blaze was 50 per cent contained.

The Stoll Fire, north of Chico, had actually burned 109 hectares and destroyed numerous homes since breaking out on Saturday, according to CalFire, but was 60 percent contained on Monday.

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