The Latest: Oregon wildfire nearly triples in size overnight
UPPER LAKE, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on wildfires raging in California (all times local):
A new blaze in north-central Oregon nearly tripled in size overnight.
The fire near the town of Dufur, about two hours southeast of Portland, spread to more than 23 square miles (60 square kilometers) early Thursday.
The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office says dozens of structures are threatened — some have burned — and at least 400 people have been told to evacuate.
The fire, caused by humans rather than lightning, began Wednesday afternoon. By nightfall, Gov. Kate Brown declared it a conflagration, which authorizes the fire marshal to mobilize state-wide resources.
It’s the third major wildfire in the area this summer. One scorched 125 square miles (323 square kilometers) and killed a man.
After an unusually warm July, firefighters caught a break with cooler temperatures Thursday.
Fire officials say a massive blaze in Northern California that has killed six people and torched more than 1,000 homes grew overnight, fueled by wind.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Thursday firefighters made some gains and the blaze is now a third contained.
The fire burning for 11 days in and around the city of Redding is now 200 square miles (518 square kilometers).
It is now the sixth most destructive wildfire in California history and is threatening another 1,600 homes.
Fire crews battling another two wildfires burning 170 miles (273 kilometers) southwest of Redding made some progress thanks to increase humidity overnight.
CalFire says the blazes about 14 miles (22 kilometers) apart are threatening 12,000 homes. Firefighters increased containment of those fires to almost 40 percent.
Wildfires scorching Northern California from the Gold Country to the fringes of Yosemite National Park are also burning through California’s firefighting budget. At least $125 million has been spent just a month into the state budget year.
State fire spokesman Mike Mohler says that’s more than a quarter of the state’s annual fire budget.
More than 13,000 firefighters are battling fires with the help of crews from as far away as Florida.
Gov. Jerry Brown repeated predictions from fire officials that California can expect a future of devastating fires, in part because of the changing climate.
The largest blaze burned in the Redding area, in Shasta County north of Sacramento. Six people, including two firefighters, have died and the fire has destroyed 1,058 homes and nearly 500 other buildings, including barns and warehouses.
That makes it the sixth most destructive wildfire in California history.
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