Updated 11:17 PM EDT, Mon, Jul 13, 2020

Fast-Moving California Wildfire Threatening Hundreds of Homes in Northern California

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A fast-moving wildfire in Northern California is threatening hundreds of homes as workers push to contain the blaze. Gusty winds and incredibly dry conditions in the former gold mining town of Weaverville are increasing the risk of the fire spreading, and according to reports, the blaze is only about 25 percent contained.

The steep terrain in the area is making containment difficult, and the blaze, which has burned about 650 acres of timber and brush, has forced residents to evacuate about 200 homes in Weaverville. CalFire spokeswoman Cris Hartman said early Monday that the fire was 25 percent contained. No estimate has been given for full containment.

About 380 firefighters have been called in to battle the blaze, and the crews worked through the night to keep the flames from spreading, according to reports. While they appear to be making good headway in fighting the blaze, daylight brings new risk, as wind gusts and dry heat will return.

"The flames laid pretty low last night and they were able to make some good progress," Hartman said.

The fire sparked Sunday afternoon near Highway 299, and has so far damaged only one structure, which is likely a barn or a large outbuilding, Hartman said.

Fire investigators have determined that a vehicle towing a trailer with a boat on it sparked the Oregon Fire near Weaverville on Sunday afternoon, according to Redding. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Cheryl Buliavac said the trailer came unhitched, threw off sparks from the pavement and started the fire.

The fire was also threatening about 20 businesses and facilities, including the town airport and high school, said Lilly Wyatt, a spokeswoman with the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services. Wyatt's office is coordinating with firefighters to battle the blaze.

School was canceled for Monday for Weaverville residents, and the shelter location will be moved. The Trinity County Sheriff's Office has lifted all mandatory evacuations in the Weaverville area and replaced them with advisory evacuations.

A Red Cross evacuation center has been moved from Weaverville Elementary School to the First Baptist Church near Highway 299 and Mountain View Street.

Buliavac said one firefighter was treated with minor injuries.

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