The Latest: California wildfire grows, evacuees in limbo

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on wildfires in Northern California (all times local):

3:35 p.m.

One of the 1,500 people forced from their homes by a Northern California wildfire raging near their town says she does not know when she’ll be able to return home.

Deborah Edwards of Spring Valley says she was out of town last weekend when her neighbor called to tell her officials had ordered a mandatory evacuation as a fire grew in Lake County.

Edwards, who is 67, says she and her husband drove seven hours on Sunday to get their two Labradors from an evacuation center where the neighbor brought them. The couple and their dogs are now staying with friends in nearby Lakeport.

Officials say the fire north of San Francisco has grown to nearly 18 square miles (46 square kilometers).

The blaze has destroyed 22 buildings and is threatening 600 buildings.

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8:10 a.m.

Fire officials say a blaze in Northern California that drove more than 1,000 people to flee their homes grew overnight and was heading toward a sparsely populated area.

California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Emily Smith said Tuesday that the fire in Lake County north of San Francisco is now nearly 18 square miles (46 square kilometers).

The blaze burning through dry brush, grass and timber has destroyed 12 homes since it started on Saturday and is threatening 600 structures.

About 1,500 people remain under mandatory evacuation orders.

Officials say unusually hot weather, high winds and highly flammable vegetation turned brittle by drought helped fuel several fires that began over the weekend.

Those same conditions led to the state’s deadliest and most destructive fire year in 2017.

Categories: California News