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Archive for Monday, June 23, 2008

Firefighters battle hundreds of blazes

June 23, 2008

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— Hundreds of wildfires sparked by lightning flared Sunday across the heart of wine country and remote forests in Northern California, the latest batch of destructive blazes in the bone-dry state.

One had spread across nearly 6 square miles by early Sunday after starting the previous afternoon in Napa County and quickly moving into a mostly rural area of Solano County.

The fire threatened more than 100 buildings as it fed on grassy woodland about 40 miles southwest of Sacramento, said Roger Archey, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire.

It was 35 percent contained Sunday evening and had destroyed one home, officials said. Evacuations were ordered for some residents, said agency spokeswoman Nancy Carniglia.

Wildfires have destroyed more than 175 homes in Northern California so far this year. Blazes started popping up in the region just as California's unofficial fire season began in mid-May, following the state's driest two-month period on record.

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