Hundreds evacuated as California wildfire grows

 Hundreds evacuated as California wildfire grows

13 August 2009

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CA, USA — A fast-moving wildfire near the Santa Cruz Mountains prompted the mandatory evacuation of some 600 people in northern California early Thursday, fire officials said.

Authorities did not immediately know what caused the fire, which began about 7 p.m. Wednesday and burned an estimated 1,200 acres in the town of Bonny Doon by 1 a.m., said John Forbes with the city’s fire and rescue department.

Evacuations have been extended to the Braemore, Swanton and Davenport areas.

The area is near the Pacific coast about 55 miles south of San Francisco.

“Right now, details are sketchy,” said Jim Crawford, spokesman for the California fire agency, Cal Fire.

High winds tripled the size of the fire in just a few hours. Video Watch the fire rage »

Firefighters did not know when they could bring the blaze under control. Flames licked the night sky, with the illumination visible for miles around.

No injuries were immediately reported.

A wildfire in the same area of Bonny Doon last year forced the evacuation of about 1,500 residents, officials said.

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