California wildfires force hundreds of evacuations

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, August 15, 2012 17:36 EDT
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California wildfires via AFP
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LOS ANGELES — Wildfires flared across southern California on Wednesday, destroying at least four buildings, wounding three people and forcing hundreds to evacuate, firefighters said.

Some 400 people from Ranchita, 81 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of San Diego, were forced to leave their homes Tuesday night and remained at help centers after five fires were sparked by lightning since Sunday.

The fires have destroyed some 9,100 acres (3,700 hectares) of wilderness and threaten 400 homes, authorities said. Some 1,500 firefighters are battling the blazes.

Three of the fires had been contained by Wednesday morning but the other two — which have caused most of the destruction — were at most five percent contained.

“Firefighters continue to make progress, though there is still a considerable amount of open fire line,” said Captain Mike Mohler, a spokesman for the CalFire information and prevention agency.

“Extreme terrain and distance from roads are making access to fires difficult for ground resources.”

Another fire broke out Tuesday in Sage, some 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of San Diego, destroying at least four buildings, including one house, and leaving two firefighters and a civilian with serious burns.

Some 400 firefighters were battling the Sage fire, which was 15 percent contained after 50 homes were evacuated and about 3,000 acres of brush were incinerated.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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