Big California wildfire takes on new life, hundreds told to evacuate

Big California wildfire takes on new life,hundreds told to evacuate

3 August 2007

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California,USA: —  Firecrews prepared Saturday for another possible flare-up by a month-old forest firethat has forced hundreds of people to flee rural cabins.

“It’s not good. We expect it to run again,” fire spokesman PeteNicklin said.

The fire in Los Padres National Forest had charred an estimated 70 squaremiles (181.3 sq. kilometers) by Saturday and was 60 percent contained, littlechanged from Friday, fire officials said.

Flames were about four miles (6.4 kilometers) from the hamlet of ParadiseRoad, where firefighters guarded some of the 175 threatened homes. About 650people evacuated the community Friday, along with youngsters from a camp fordelinquent boys.

The wildfire had been slowed for days by a weather condition that trappedcool, moist air at ground level, but the weather changed Friday and the blazedashed through 6,000 acres (2428.1 hectares) of wilderness.

The blaze was started July 4 by sparks from equipment being used to repair awater pipe.

Elsewhere, about 50 houses threatened by a wind-whipped fire were orderedevacuated in southwestern Montana’s Granite County, said Karen Semple, a fireinformation officer. The fire had covered 2,400 acres (971.2 hectares), she said.

A handful of homes and cabins in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula were evacuatedSaturday as a precaution near a wildfire that had blackened about 5,300 acres(2144.8 hectares), said Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman MaryDettloff. The fire was 30 percent contained Saturday.

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