Thousands flee California wildfires

Dhaka,  Fri,  21 July 2017
Published : 10 Jul 2017, 21:04:56 | Updated : 10 Jul 2017, 21:05:02
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Thousands flee California wildfires

Thousands flee California wildfires
OROVILLE, July 10 (AP): Wildfires barreled across the baking landscape of the western U.S. and Canada, forcing thousands of residents to flee and destroying homes.

Here's a look at the wildfires tearing through the West.

Two major wildfires in California have forced nearly 8,000 people out of their homes.

About 4,000 people evacuated and another 7,400 were told to prepare to leave their homes as fire swept through grassy foothills in the Sierra Nevada, about 60 miles north of Sacramento, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Sunday.

The fire has burned nearly 4 square miles (11 sq. kilometers), injured four firefighters and destroyed at least 10 structures, but that number is expected to rise, fire spokeswoman Mary Ann Aldrich said.

The area burning was southeast of Oroville, where spillways in the nation's tallest dam began crumbling from heavy rains this winter and led to temporary evacuation orders for 200,000 residents downstream.

"It leaves you feeling like you can't catch a break," said Sharon Reitan, who sought shelter at an evacuation center with her boyfriend Sunday night.

They were in Oroville on Friday afternoon when the fire broke out and roads to their hillside home were blocked. They later saw photographs of their home burned to the ground.

"The road that we live on was hit hard," Reitan said. "We're in shut down mode right now, it's so devastating."

The fire was 20 percent contained. It was one of 14 wildfires across California that about 5,000 firefighters battled Sunday.

In Southern California, at least 3,500 people evacuated as two fires exploded in size at separate ends of Santa Barbara County and a third one threatened homes near a town in San Luis Obispo County.

One of the fires grew to 12 square miles (31 square kilometers), traversing a mountain range and heading south toward coastal Goleta.

There was minimal containment, and flames shut down State Route 154, which is expected to remain closed for days. At least 20 structures burned, but officials didn't say if they were homes.
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