California Wildfire Forces Evacuations As Blazes Hit US

California Wildfire Forces Evacuations As Blazes Hit US

A fast-moving wildfire burned overnight through thousands more acres of steep terrain near California's central coast, officials said on Sunday, as high temperatures and parched vegetation fueled dozens of blazes in the U.S. West and Southwest.

According to authorities an evacuation notice has been issued to about 250 homes which are believed could be put at risk by the fires.

The fire, which began Thursday afternoon and is under investigation, closed Highway 166 in the area.

Wildfires are spreading through California's central coast, threatening hundreds of homes.

The fire near Highway 166 was only 10 percent contained till Saturday morning, the Santa Barbara County officials said on Twitter.

Cal Fire also battled the Tower Blaze that started Friday on the Cuesta Grade north of San Luis Obispo before being contained.

Air quality is reported to be noticeably poorer in areas inland from Los Angeles.




The metal frame of a mobile home and a stove were left crumbling in scorched debris at one site.

Some 80 people at Circle V Ranch Camp in Santa Barbara County - mostly children - were forced to stay put and shelter as acres of forest burned, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department said.

In Colorado, residents of almost 500 homes outside the ski town of Breckenridge were allowed to return home Friday night.

Meanwhile in Colorado and Montana, local officials lifted a series of evacuation orders over the weekend as firefighters gained control of blazes that broke out last week.

"There's still plenty of opportunity for this fire to grow", Cal Fire public information officer Chris Elms said.

Hot, dry winds have fanned a wildfire in Santa Barbara County that has now grown to almost five square miles and forced evacuations.

Evacuations orders affected almost 300 homes.

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