Archive for Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wildfires burn dozens of homes

June 11, 2008

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— Fires fed by raging winds raced across parts of Northern California on Tuesday, destroying dozens of homes, threatening hundreds of others and leaving a firefighter severely burned.

The fires were concentrated in areas north and south of the state capital, while separate blazes burned near the coast.

A nearly 2-square-mile wildfire destroyed 21 homes and about 30 other structures in Palermo, a town of about 5,000 residents, said Joshpae White, a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman.

The community about 60 miles north of Sacramento was evacuated temporarily while at least 350 firefighters fought to protect homes. About 50 residents planned to spend the night at an evacuation center.

A fire captain fighting a blaze just south of Sacramento was hospitalized with second- and third-degree burns after the grass fire unexpectedly changed direction and became more intense.

Also south of Sacramento, several fires that ignited along Interstate 5 in Stockton blew out of control. The fires damaged or destroyed 30 homes.

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