Rural California fires burn 5 square miles

Published: Friday, Jul. 11, 2014 - 5:36 pm
Last Modified: Friday, Jul. 11, 2014 - 10:56 pm

Wildfires in rural California burned more than five square miles of territory Friday and prompted evacuations but no homes were in immediate danger, officials said.

A blaze that erupted Friday afternoon near Redding in Northern California burned 2,500 acres of foothill brush and oak in an area of widely scattered homes and ranches.

The fire in the community of Igo was just 10 percent contained but it was moving north into even less populated areas, Shasta County sheriff's Sgt. Rob Sandbloom said.

"There's nothing in the immediate fire path that's going to affect any homes. It's just burning in open country," he said late Friday night.

An evacuation order was in place near a two-lane country road that serves as the main way in and out of the area.

Four nearby homes containing several dozen people were evacuated as a precaution but there could be other houses whose residents refused to leave, he said.

The fire was feeding on tinder-dry vegetation, state fire spokesman Dennis Mathisen said.

"We're seeing fire conditions ... that we wouldn't normally see until August or early September," he said.

About 280 firefighters were on the scene but the work was challenging because the fire seemed to be heading into steeper areas.

"They still have a lot of work ahead of them," Mathisen said.

In Central California, an 800-acre fire burned in a remote wilderness area of the Sequoia National Forest.

The forest where the fire started is south of and separate from the Sequoia National Park east of Fresno, which is famous for its giant Sequoia trees.

The fire broke out around 2 p.m., in the Kiavah Wilderness area, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Cindy Thill said. The blaze east of Lake Isabella, 50 miles northeast of Bakersfield, burned through shrubs and skipped across the treetops in some places, she said.

No homes were evacuated or in danger but firefighters hit it with air tankers and helicopters, and hundreds of firefighters were called in to help slow it on the ground.

No roads cross through that part of the forest, making it accessible only by foot and air, Thill said, and the cause of the fire was not immediately known.



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