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Multiple wildfires burn out of control in Northern California

Firefighters scramble to get control as flames from the Pawnee fire jump across highway 20 near Clearlake Oaks, Calif. on July 1, 2018. (Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

Multiple wildfires burn out of control in Northern California

A massive wildfire in rural Northern California has exploded in size and forced evacuations in hot, dry weather that is sweeping through several western states where blazes are threatening thousands of homes.

The fast-moving fire that started over the weekend northwest of Sacramento grew dramatically to about 94 square miles (243 square kilometers) by Monday night, largely burning out of control in rugged terrain with a few cattle and horse ranches and sending smoke and ash as far south as San Francisco.

State fire officials said 700 homes and other buildings were threatened but none had burned.

The fire that started Saturday about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco spread as strong winds pushed smoke south, dusting cars and homes with a thin layer of gray ash. About 300 people were told to flee their homes. No injuries were reported. (AP)

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