Far Northern Calif. fire destroys 30 structures

REDDING, Calif. (AP) — A wind-whipped, fast-moving wildfire in Northern California’s Shasta County damaged 30 buildings, many of them homes, and threatened another 350 structures, fire officials said Tuesday.

Some residents were given just minutes to evacuate as the fire jumped roads and engulfed residences, the Record Searchlight of Redding reported (http://bit.ly/1ecnuvu ).

The Clover Fire near the rural community of Happy Valley began Monday and quickly spread through grass and oak, growing to more than 11 square miles, state fire spokeswoman Teresa Rea said. Happy Valley is about 150 miles north of Sacramento.

Meanwhile, a fire burning in a San Francisco Bay Area wilderness park appeared to be under control Tuesday. Crews made considerable progress overnight against the fire in Mount Diablo State Park in Contra Costa County, more than doubling containment and reducing the number of threatened homes to 75.

At the Clover Fire, strong winds and dry conditions fueled the flames.

“It was the perfect storm,” Rea said.

Ty Romero, who lost his home, told the Record Searchlight the fire moved fast.

“It wasn’t even 10 minutes,” he said. “I know a lot of the houses in the area burned.”

Romero loaded a truck with whatever he and his uncle, William, could gather before quickly fleeing with two of his uncle’s dogs. A third remained unaccounted for, the Record Searchlight reported.

Multiple outbuildings and vehicles also were damaged. Mandatory evacuations were in place for some homes, though Rea didn’t know how many.

Fire crews did, however, make good progress against the blaze overnight, raising containment from 5 percent to 40 percent, she said.

More than 1,100 firefighters were battling the blaze. The cause was under investigation.

The fire in Mount Diablo State Park was 45 percent contained as of Tuesday morning, up from 20 percent the previous night, officials said. It has burned a little over 5 square miles.

That number was lowered from the previous day because of better mapping.

State fire spokesman Steve Kaufmann said 75 homes are now threatened, down from 100 homes.

He said the fire isn’t showing much active behavior.

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