California wildfire threatens town, Guv declares emergency

California wildfire threatens town, Guv declares emergency

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Updated: Thursday, August 23, 2012, 17:02 [IST]

Wildfire
Red Bluff (California), Aug 23: California Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday declared emergency in three counties in Northern California after a wildfire advanced to Mineral, a tiny community adjacent to Lassen National Volcanic Park. The deadly wildfire has already destroyed 64 homes and scorched 24,000 acres. Firefighters were struggling hard to tame the fire, called Ponderosa Fire.

The Californian authorities asked the inhabitants of Mineral to evacuate after the 75-feet-high flames threatened Highway 36, the main road to the town. The firefighters made a trench as a last-ditch effort to save the town from the fire as thick smoke and ash filled the air for miles around. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries while fighting the blaze. Fire officials said they succeeded in containing 50 per cent of the fire on Wednesday.

Beth Glenn, who said his family owns most businesses in Mineral, said that the town had survived a fire in the 1990s but was apprehensive that this time, the situation was worse.

Over 3,000 people were forced to flee their homes in the Tehama and Shasta counties, located about 125 miles north of state capital Sacramento. The Ponderosa Fire is one of those dozens which were burning across the drought-hit states in the US West.

OneIndia News

(With Agency Inputs)

Story first published: Thursday, August 23, 2012, 16:31 [IST]