Fast-moving wildfire destroys homes in Northern California

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Ponderosa Fire
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Ponderosa Fire
A firefighter battles the Ponderosa Fire east of Oroville, California, U.S. August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Noah Berger TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Flames from the Ponderosa Fire burn a home east of Oroville, California, U.S. August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Noah Berger
Embers fly from a tree as the Ponderosa Fire burns east of Oroville, California, U.S. August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Noah Berger
Flames consume a garage as the Ponderosa Fire burns east of Oroville, California, U.S. August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Noah Berger
Flames consume a garage as the Ponderosa Fire burns east of Oroville, California, U.S. August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Noah Berger
Firefighters battle the Ponderosa Fire east of Oroville, California, U.S. August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Noah Berger
Flames consume a garage as the Ponderosa Fire burns east of Oroville, California, U.S. August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Noah Berger
Flames consume a garage as the Ponderosa Fire burns east of Oroville, California, U.S. August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Noah Berger
A car scorched by the Ponderosa Fire rests in a clearing east of Oroville, California, U.S. August 30, 2017. REUTERS/Noah Berger
The remains of a residence leveled by the Ponderosa Fire rest in a clearing east of Oroville, California, U.S. August 30, 2017. REUTERS/Noah Berger
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation workers, who supervise inmate fire crews, watch as the Ponderosa Fire burns east of Oroville, California, U.S. August 30, 2017. REUTERS/Noah Berger
Cars scorched by the Ponderosa Fire rest in a clearing east of Oroville, California, U.S. August 30, 2017. REUTERS/Noah Berger
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(Reuters) - A fast-moving wildfire destroyed several homes and forced the evacuation of residents in Northern California on Tuesday, local media and fire officials said.

The fire started at 1.15 p.m. and burned 1,000 acres (405 hectares) in Butte County, about 85 miles (135 km) north of Sacramento, according to information on the Cal Fire website. At least nine houses were destroyed, local media reported.

Photos on social media showed the fire turning houses into ash as smoke billowed into the sky and flames ripped through trees and vegetation.

"My grandparents' house is gone. Everything on their road burned and it feels like losing my grandma all over again," said a Twitter user.

A mandatory evacuation order was placed on residents who live in the remote area. It is unclear how many residents were evacuated. Two shelters were opened for displaced residents, local media reported.

Cal Fire officials were not immediately available for comment.

Northern California is facing a heatwave over the next few days with temperatures expected to top 105 degrees Fahrenheit, the National Weather Service said.

Since the beginning of the year, wildfires in the U.S. West have burned more than 6.8 million acres, about 50 percent more than during the same time period in 2016.

More than 45,000 fires have burned so far this year across the region, 15 percent more than in 2016, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

 

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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