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Published: Sun, July 08, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

One dead, hundreds of homes destroyed as bushfires tear through California


A wildfire that broke out Thursday afternoon near Hornbrook, California is rapidly burning to the north, forcing the evacuation of Hornbrook and Hilt/Colestin Valley, according to CalFire.

The UC Santa Barbara campus is "not now under any immediate physical threat, but campus officials are closely monitoring the situation and will send out updates as necessary", according to an email sent out to UCSB students Friday night.

Another brush fire burned at least 10 acres in Dulzura on Friday, but was 75 percent contained by Friday evening, fire officials said. A fire also broke out further north in the city of Goleta in Santa Barbara County later Friday night.

Thousands were told to evacuate as the fire edged into residential areas, and by late on Friday night it was about 1.6 kilometres from the downtown area, county fire Captain Dave Zaniboni told United States media.

Authorities said more than 350 acres had been burned and that hundreds had been evacuated.

The Klamathon Fire was one of more than three dozen wildfires that firefighters were battling in California and across the U.S. West during an unusually active fire season.

A local emergency proclamation was issued by the Director of County Emergency Services.

The fire was only 5 percent contained Friday night, but crews had virtually stopped its growth and were focusing on knocking down hotspots that continue to threaten houses and mobile homes, state fire officials said.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Siskyou County, citing "extreme peril" to people and property.

Zaniboni says the wind-driven fire is burning down Fairview Avenue into populated areas and is out of control with no containment.

Record-breaking heat contributed to the danger this past week.

While the fire was growing quickly Thursday afternoon a 20 to 26 miles per hour south wind was pushing it along the Interstate. They have added additional firefighters to stand-by status in case the fire moves into Oregon. They were transported to a local hospital and are in stable condition. "When temperatures rise this high, our libraries, recreation centers, and senior centers give Angelenos who need to escape the heat a friendly, welcoming, safe place to stay cool and healthy".

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