California Brush Fire Closes Highway

Blaze consumed nearly 3,000 acres



CALIFORNIA VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Authorities ordered evacuations and closed a remote highway after a fast-moving wildfire churned through dry brush in Southern California on Tuesday.

The blaze exploded in size after breaking out around 2 p.m. near the tiny community of California Valley in eastern San Luis Obispo County, according to the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

By 8:30 p.m. flames had burned at least one structure and consumed nearly 3000 acres (1,214 hectares) of brush, officials said.

An unknown number of rural homes were evacuated and a section of State Route 58 was closed.

The Branch Fire was 30% contained. The cause was under investigation.

Meanwhile firefighters gained ground on a large wildfire in rural northeastern California. The 34-square-mile (88-square-kilometer) Gold Fire in northern Lassen County was 65% contained Tuesday afternoon, Cal Fire said.

The fire has been burning since July 20 in an area of private homes, ranches and commercial operations near the community of Adin.

Three areas remain under evacuation orders and evacuation warnings are in effect for a wider area.

In southern Lassen County, the nearly 15-square-mile (38.5-square-kilometer) Hog Fire west of Susanville was 64% contained.

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