Klamathon Fire doubles in size, crosses OR border

Image courtesy Tommy Davis

Image courtesy Tommy Davis

Several wildfires are scorching other western United States and forcing hundreds to evacuate from their homes, with one person killed in a blaze near California's border with Oregon.

In Santa Barbara County, 20 homes were burned and hundreds more were threatened as winds pushed the fire on Friday night, according to authorities.

Officials said Sunday that the 48-square-mile blaze on the California-Oregon border known as the Klamathon fire is now 25 percent contained. The cause is still under investigation. The man had stayed through the night spraying down other people's houses.

Coming a day after Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Siskiyou County, a person has died as a result of the Klamathon Fire, Cal Fire announced Friday morning.

Authorities announced that mandatory evacuation orders were being greatly reduced and numerous 2,500 people who fled Friday night would be able to return home by late afternoon.

Near Los Angeles, Cal Fire was battling the 100-acre Valley Fire and the 100-acre Box Fire (15 percent contained), both in San Bernardino County.

Carol Beaty found piles of ash and rubble when she returned home after evacuating.

The fire about 32 miles north of Craig has destroyed two structures.

In Los Angeles County, meanwhile, water-dropping helicopters and ground crews are attacking a small but persistent fire burning on a mountain slope above suburban Burbank.

The blaze destroyed an unknown number of structures and forced residents in the small communities of Hornbrook, Hilt and Colestein Valley to flee as flames crossed Interstate 5 near the California and OR border, local media reported.

With fires occurring statewide, a Colorado-based Boeing 747-400 supertanker was deployed to California. That blaze destroyed more than 1,000 buildings in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Excessive heat and fire warnings remain in effect from the National Weather Service across much of California, where crews are battling a number of powerful wildfires.

"We have six kids, and I want them to know this isn't the end", Durtschi said.

The area is north of where the Thomas Fire raged last December - that blaze destroyed more than 1,000 buildings in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Cal Fire SLO spokesman Clint Bullard said 60 Cal Fire SLO personnel are on the scene at the Holiday Fire, including a strike team of engines. The fire has the potential to spread into the Klamath National Forest, Siskiyou National Forest and private timber lands, Cal Fire said Saturday.

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