Relief From Heat Expected As California Fires Threaten Thousands

Image courtesy Tommy Davis

The Holiday Fire damaged or destroyed about 20 structures and threatened hundreds more.

One person has died as a result of a wildfire in Northern California, officials said Friday.The Klamathon Fire has burned 8,000 acres and taken out homes like this one in Hornbrook, California.

The Holiday Fire that began Friday in Santa Barbara County is 5 percent contained at 50 acres.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday that the blaze had burned almost 8 square miles (20 square kilometers) with 0 percent containment.

"Most of our active fires are occurring right now in the Rocky Mountain area which includes Colorado as well as the Great Basin area which includes Utah, Nevada and Idaho", Jones said.

California was one of several Western states where recent wildfires have destroyed homes and forced thousands of people to evacuate.

Previous year was the worst fire season on record in the state, with thousands of homes lost and dozens killed _ from Northern California wine country south to Los Angeles and San Diego counties.

Among new fires Saturday, a blaze erupted on a steep mountain slope just above the Los Angeles suburb of Burbank and helicopters pounded it with water to try to keep it from getting out of hand.

Due to the remote location of the areas of concern, officials said people may not receive notices to evacuate with enough time to do so.

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Elsewhere in California, a massive blaze northwest of Sacramento had destroyed nine homes, officials said.

CAL FIRE says the Klamathon Fire continues to threaten the communities of Hornbrook, CA, Hilt, CA, and Colestin, OR.

More than 30 engines, including 120 firefighters, were on the scene battling the fire in 100-degree heat and gusty winds.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says Friday afternoon that the fire in Alpine is about 150 acres (0.23 sq. miles) and had no containment.

With fires occurring statewide, a Colorado-based Boeing 747-400 supertanker was deployed to California.

Some fires have been calmed by rain while others have been stoked by wind and hot temperatures.

Shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday, Huerfano County officials said Highway 160 had reopened and residents of Tres Valles could return home. The fire was under control a little more than an hour later.

Some 2,858 firefighters faced with inaccessible terrain, high temperatures and low humidity, were battling the fire, which was 57 percent contained.

The fire is now zero percent contained and is "fast-moving", Eliason said.

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