California Gold Country Wildfire Grows Overnight

Over 800 firefighters are fighting the wildfire



QUINCY, Calif. (AP) — A massive wildfire in a remote area of California’s gold country grew overnight to more than 69 square miles (179.3 square kilometers), officials said Monday.

The U.S. Forest Service said containment on the blaze in the Plumas National Forest was at 10%.

Erratic winds were making conditions difficult for the more than 800 firefighters battling the blaze.

Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for scattered rural properties in the forest, the forest service said.

To the west in Tehama County, fire crews have contained 50 percent of a blaze that has destroyed two structures and burned nearly 14 square miles. The blaze started by lighting Thursday has burned through brush and timber west of Red Bluff. It led to mandatory evacuations that remain in place.

Further south, a fire along the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada southwest of Big Pine grew significantly to more than 16 square miles (41 square kilometers), and was 30% contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Monday. The fire erupted Wednesday evening about 200 miles (322 kilometers) north of Los Angeles and the cause is under investigation. Some parts of Big Pine Canyon were under mandatory evacuation orders.

The fire trapped some campers who had to be airlifted to safety Sunday. Four cars were burned at the trailhead, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

A fire that threatened homes in the Murrieta area of Southern California last week was 90% contained.

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