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THOUSANDS EVACUATED AS WILDFIRES RAGE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA


LOWER LAKE,California, U.S.A. -  Fire officials called for thousands of evacuations as numerous homes remained threatened by Northern California wildfires on Monday, while more than 9,000 firefighters battled 21 major fires in the state, officials said.
Wildfires were also burning in Washington and Oregon as the West Coast suffered from the effects of drought and summer heat.
The largest California wildfire was raging in the Lower Lake area north of San Francisco. It nearly tripled in size over the weekend to 84 square miles.
The fire has destroyed 24 homes and 26 outbuildings and was threatening 6,300 homes, many of them ranches scattered in rural areas ranging from grasslands to steep hills, officials said.
Officials have ordered 12,000 people to evacuate homes, the Sacramento Bee reported (http://bit.ly/1Ie4toA). Several roads have been closed.
Fire officials “are calling the behaviour of this fire unprecedented”, state fire spokesman Jason Shanley told the newspaper. “It is jaw-dropping to see some of the things it is doing.”
Even though the temperature dropped into the 80s on Sunday and the humidity was up, the fire continued to advance.
One firefighter was killed at the scene of a fire at the Modoc National Forest.
Source: Agency
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