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Firefighters battle California forest fires

Last Updated: Monday, August 17, 2009 - 10:08

Washington: More than 2,000 firefighters continued to battle a fire in the Santa Cruz mountains south of San Francisco on Sunday.
Firefighters had managed to carve containment lines around about half of the blaze burning about 100 kilometres south of the city, the San Francisco Chronicle reported online.

Hot weather and rough terrain hindered further progress, the newspaper said.

The Santa Cruz fire, which has threatened the communities of Bonny Doon and Swanton, has scorched more than 2,400 hectares and prompted more than 2,000 evacuations.

The cause of the fire, which broke out on Wednesday, was still not known. A state of emergency was declared in the Santa Cruz fire to allow money and aid to quickly be put toward the firefight.

Another fire, in the Altamont Pass area of Alameda County, is 85 percent contained after burning 5,000 hectares. Only one home is threatened in the blaze, the Chronicle reported.

All told, about a dozen fires were burning in California on Sunday, including one in Yuba County that is only 15 percent contained and caused the shutdown of three major electrical powerhouses. Nearly 1,400 firefighters were battling the blaze, the Chronicle reported.


First Published: Monday, August 17, 2009 - 10:08
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