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California wildfires burn amid red flag weather conditions

July 22, 2020 GMT

ADIN, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters battled forest fires in northeastern California on Wednesday amid red flag weather conditions.

The Gold Fire ballooned to nearly 22 square miles (57 square kilometers) in Lassen County, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The blaze south of the small Modoc County community of Adin was just 5% contained and some evacuations were in place.

The National Weather Service warned of a mix of wet and dry thunderstorms that, combined with recent unusually low humidity, could make vegetation susceptible to ignition by lightning. Winds flowing out from thunderstorms were predicted gust up to 60 mph (97 kph).

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Two firefighters injured Monday when the Gold Fire overran them were welcomed home from a hospital by Adin residents Tuesday night, KRCR-TV Redding reported.

Chief Paul Lemke of Adin Fire District suffered burns to his face, neck and arms, KRCR said. The other firefighter, Craig Senseney, said they had to deploy their fire shelters to survive.

In southern Lassen County, the Hog Fire grew to nearly 15 square miles (38 square kilometers) but remained 5 miles (8 kilometers) west of Susanville.

Elsewhere, the 46-square-mile (119-square-kilometer) Mineral Fire in western Fresno County was 75% contained. Several much smaller wildfires burned in Northern California.

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