California wildfires claim 13 homes

2014-07-28 15:23
A City of Folsom fire-fighter moves through burned trees and ash not far from the origin of the Sand Fire in Amador County. (Randy Pench, AP)

A City of Folsom fire-fighter moves through burned trees and ash not far from the origin of the Sand Fire in Amador County. (Randy Pench, AP)

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Plymouth - Wildfires burning near Northern California vineyards and in the Yosemite National Park area were threatening hundreds of homes even as crews worked to contain them.

A blaze in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of Sacramento was 50% surrounded by fire-fighters as of late Sunday, after burning 13 homes and 38 outbuildings. It has scorched roughly 15km2 of rugged grassland and timber near wine-growing regions.

The California department of forestry and fire protection said in a statement that about 515 homes remained threatened and under evacuation orders.

The fire started on Friday when a vehicle drove over vegetation that is tinder-dry from years of drought.

About 1 900 fire-fighters, aided by aircraft including a DC-10 air tanker, were working to control the blaze.

The fire destroyed homes, cabins and a collection of 13 antique cars that a man was restoring in the town of Plymouth, the Sacramento Bee reported.

In Central California, a fire near the popular tourist destination of Yosemite National Park had spread to about 10km2 and continued to threaten the small town of Foresta, where it destroyed one home.

The park itself, home to such sites as Half Dome mountain, Yosemite Meadows, a grove of Giant Sequoia trees and other wonders, remained open throughout Sunday and authorities said none of its treasures were threatened.

Wildfires also burned in other Western states, including Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Utah.
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