Forest fire forces 1,400 to evacuate in northern California

June 12th, 2008 - 12:12 pm ICT by IANS  

San Francisco, June 12 (DPA) A wildfire in the Santa Cruz Mountains has forced the evacuation of 1,400 residents as more than 175 firefighters fought the blaze, local media has reported. Warm, dry winds have accelerated flames, and from just 75 acres in the afternoon the fire grew to up to 300 acres by early evening Wednesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Assisting firefighters are seven air tankers and two helicopters dropping retardant and water, the newspaper reported, citing the state Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention.

At the end of May a wildfire burned 4,270 acres and 35 homes in the area.

The National Weather Service warned that fire danger is expected to remain high through Friday morning.

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