Northern California wildfire forces evacuations

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Updated: 7/26/2014 12:09 pm

PLYMOUTH, Calif. (AP) — A fast-moving wildfire in Northern California destroyed at least two structures and forced the evacuation of homes along a rural road east of Sacramento, authorities said Friday.

The fire broke out shortly before 5 p.m. in a riverbed by the Amador and El Dorado county line, north of the town of Plymouth, when temperatures topped 100 degrees, said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff.

The fire crossed the Cosumnes River into more rugged terrain, quickly spreading to about 1,300 acres of dry and thick brush and woodland, she said.

"The drought is very severe here, all the plants are catching fire and spreading very easily," Tolmachoff said.

The blaze sent a huge plume of smoke across the region.

An unknown number of homes on Sand Ridge Road off Highway 49 were evacuated, she said, adding that firefighters were trying to determine the type of structures that were consumed by the flames.

The rough terrain hampered firefighters' efforts to corral the blaze. They were aided during daylight by water-dropping aircraft, but will have to spend the night hiking to areas where they can create fire lines, Tolmachoff said. The fire is about 20 percent contained.

Crews were focused on slowing the fire's march toward Logtown, a historic mining town in El Dorado County, she said.

The fire is about 45 miles east of Sacramento.

Investigators were trying to determine whether a burned car found by the riverbed ignited the fire.


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