Hundreds evacuated from 3 California wildfires

2014-09-15 11:00
Helicopters drop water on a wildfire burning near a home in Silverado Canyon in eastern Orange County. (Mark Rightmire, AP)

Helicopters drop water on a wildfire burning near a home in Silverado Canyon in eastern Orange County. (Mark Rightmire, AP)

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Oakhurst - Two out-of-control wildfires in California forced hundreds of residents to flee from their homes on Sunday. One fire near a lakeside resort town has destroyed several structures, authorities said.

The blaze, sparked shortly after 13:30 near Bass Lake, California, prompted authorities to evacuate about 1 000 residents out of 400 homes, Sheriff's spokesperson Erika Stuart said.

"I know 10 structures have been destroyed already", Stuart said.

The fire started off a country road between Oakhurst, a foothill community south of the entrance to Yosemite National Park, and Bass Lake and quickly grew to at least 130Ha, California department of forestry and fire protection spokesperson Daniel Berlant said.

Further north, a wildfire about 100km east of Sacramento forced the evacuation of 133 homes. Sheriff's officials said residents of another 406 homes were being told to prepare to flee.

Berlant said the blaze started in a remote area on Saturday, but exploded on Sunday when it reached a canyon full of thick, dry brush. It has burned 10km2, and was 10% contained.

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