New wildfire in northern California kills one, spurs evacuation

LOS ANGELES/DENVER, July 6 (Reuters) - A wildfire in northern California killed one person, destroyed buildings, forced the evacuation of hundreds of people from nearby communities and prompted the governor to declare a state of emergency.

The Klamathon Fire broke out on Thursday and, within hours, spread from an initial 1,000 acres to 8,000 acres, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in an advisory.

One person has died due to the fire, a spokeswoman for the agency said on Friday, without providing any details.

The blaze destroyed an unknown number of structures and forced residents in the small communities of Hornbrook, Hilt and Colestein Valley to flee as flames crossed Interstate 5 near the California and Oregon border, local media reported.

16 PHOTOS
Fires in Yolo County, California
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Fires in Yolo County, California
Firefighters work to control a fire as flames from the County Fire jump across Highway 20 near Clearlake Oaks, California, on July 1, 2018. - Californian authorities have issued red flag weather warnings and mandatory evacuation orders after a series of wildfires fanned by high winds and hot temperatures ripped through thousands of acres. The latest blaze, the County Fire sparked in Yolo County on June 30, had by July 1 afternoon spread across 22,000 acres (9,000 hectares) with zero percent containment, according to Cal Fire. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Inmate firefighters work as flames from the County Fire climb a hillside in Guinda, California, on July 1, 2018. - Californian authorities have issued red flag weather warnings and mandatory evacuation orders after a series of wildfires fanned by high winds and hot temperatures ripped through thousands of acres. The latest blaze, the County Fire sparked in Yolo County on June 30, had by July 1 afternoon spread across 22,000 acres (9,000 hectares) with zero percent containment, according to Cal Fire. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Fire consumes a hillside as the County fire burns along Highway 129 near Lake Berryessa in Yolo County, Calif., on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/TN)
ESPARTO, CA - JULY 02: A firefighting air tanker drops Foscheck fire retardant on a hillside ahead of the County Fire on July 2, 2018 in Esparto, California. The fast moving County Fire, which started on Saturday afternoon, has scorched nearly 45,000 acres as it continues to burn through dry grass and brush. The fire is currently 3 percent contained and has not burned any homes. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Cows trot in a burning pasture in Guinda, California on July 01, 2018. - Californian authorities have issued red flag weather warnings and mandatory evacuation orders after a series of wildfires fanned by high winds and hot temperatures ripped through thousands of acres. The latest blaze, the County Fire sparked in Yolo County on June 30, had by July 1 afternoon spread across 22,000 acres (9,000 hectares) with zero percent containment, according to Cal Fire. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Hot Shot crews from Truckee, Calif., use incendiary devices to start backfires to help contain the County fire along Highway 129, near Lake Berryessa in Yolo County, Calif., on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/TN)
Hot Shot crews from Mendocino, Calif., use backfires to help contain the County fire along Highway 129 near Lake Berryessa in Yolo County, Calif., on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/TN)
ESPARTO, CA - JULY 02: A firefighting air tanker drops Foscheck fire retardant near a structure ahead of the County Fire on July 2, 2018 in Esparto, California. The fast moving County Fire, that started on Saturday afternoon, has scorched nearly 45,000 acres as it continues to burn through dry grass and brush. The fire is currently 3 percent contained and has not burned any homes. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Hot Shot crews from Mendocino, Calif., use backfires to help contain the County fire along Highway 129 near Lake Berryessa in Yolo County, Calif., on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/TN)
GUINDA, CA - JULY 02: Smoke rises from the County Fire as it burns through dry brush on July 2, 2018 in Guinda, California. The fast moving County Fire, that started on Saturday afternoon, has scorched nearly 45,000 acres as it continues to burn through dry grass and brush. The fire is currently 3 percent contained and has not burned any homes. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Hot Shot crews from Mendocino, Calif., use backfires to help contain the County fire along Highway 129 near Lake Berryessa in Yolo County, Calif., on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/TN)
ESPARTO, CA - JULY 02: A firefighting air tanker drops Foscheck fire retardant on a hillside ahead of the County Fire on July 2, 2018 in Esparto, California. The fast moving County Fire, which started on Saturday afternoon, has scorched nearly 45,000 acres as it continues to burn through dry grass and brush. The fire is currently 3 percent contained and has not burned any homes. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Fire consumes a hillside as the County fire burns along Highway 129 near Lake Berryessa in Yolo County, Calif., on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/TN)
TOPSHOT - Firefighters watch as flames from the County Fire climb a hillside in Guinda, California, on July 1, 2018. - Californian authorities have issued red flag weather warnings and mandatory evacuation orders after a series of wildfires fanned by high winds and hot temperatures ripped through thousands of acres. The latest blaze, the County Fire sparked in Yolo County on June 30, had by July 1 afternoon spread across 22,000 acres (9,000 hectares) with zero percent containment, according to Cal Fire. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
A horse looks on in his pasture near where the County Fire burns in Yolo County on Saturday, June, 30, 2018. (Daniel Kim/Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images)
Flames from the County Fire move through a property in Guinda, California, on July 1, 2018. - Californian authorities have issued red flag weather warnings and mandatory evacuation orders after a series of wildfires fanned by high winds and hot temperatures ripped through thousands of acres. The latest blaze, the County Fire sparked in Yolo County on June 30, had by July 1 afternoon spread across 22,000 acres (9,000 hectares) with zero percent containment, according to Cal Fire. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for the area, allowing state resources to be devoted to fighting the wildfire and keeping people safe.

The Klamathon Fire was one of more than three dozen wildfires that firefighters were battling in California and across the U.S. West during an unusually active fire season.

Fires have razed through more than 2.8 million acres in the United States this year through Thursday, above the average of about 2.4 million acres for the same period over the last 10 years, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Firefighting efforts across the region have been hampered by blistering temperatures, low humidity and erratic winds.

CONTAINMENT

Crews in Northern California tried on Thursday to cut containment lines around the County Fire, which has already burned across some 135 square miles. Nine structures have been destroyed and some 100 homes were said to be in danger.

That blaze, which broke out on Saturday in steep, inaccessible terrain about 45 miles northwest of Sacramento and spans more than 88,000 acres, has so far largely burned away from populated areas. It was 37 percent contained early on Friday, officials said.

The weather will become hotter and drier into the weekend, Cal Fire warned.

22 PHOTOS
Spring Creek and Lake Christine fires in Colorado
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Spring Creek and Lake Christine fires in Colorado
BASALT, CO - JULY 04: A view of the Lake Christine fire as it rises behind Elk Run on July 4, 2018 in Basalt, Colorado. (Photo by Chris Council/Getty Images)
LA VETA, CO - JULY 4: Brandon Laird holds his daughter Emmy, 4, as they watch the sun sets over the Spring Creek Fire on July 4, 2018 in La Veta, Colorado. They are evacuees who have a family cabin in Cuchara and hoping to go home soon. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
FT. GARLAND, CO - JULY 05: Evacuees Rudy Garcia, left, and his wife of 63-years Delores, from San Antonio Texas, look over the Spring Fire map from the American Red Cross shelter at the Ft. Garland Community Center July 05, 2018. Their summer home was spared from the flames, which has consumed over 100,000 acres and has destroyed over 130 homes. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BASALT, CO - JULY 04: The Lake Christine fire burns the hillside at the base of Basalt Mountain behind the Basalt Middle School on July 4, 2018 in Basalt, Colorado. (Photo by Chris Council/Getty Images)
FT. GARLAND, CO - JULY 05: Wild land firefighters walk to camp at the Ft. Garland Community Center after spending a long day fighting the Spring Fire July 05, 2018. The Spring fire has consumed over 100,000 acres and has destroyed over 130 homes. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
WALSENBURG, CO - JULY 5: Mike Duran and his son Roy, load donated hay and grain into their truck outside of the Rio Cucharas Veterinary Clinic on July 5, 2018 in Walsenburg, Colorado. Due to the massive Spring Creek Fire many ranchers who own horses and cattle are scrambling trying to find hay and grain to feed their livestock. Much of the grazing area for the animals has either burned or is under evacuation which leaves the owners with no place for their animals. Many of the evacuated animals are at the Huerfano County Fairgrounds. Others have been taken to area ranches. People are worried about the long term effects of the fire for their livestock. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BASALT, CO - JULY 04: The streets of downtown Basalt were deserted late Wednesday night as the Lake Christine fire burns at the base of Basalt Mountain on July 4, 2018 in Basalt, Colorado. (Photo by Chris Council/Getty Images)
LA VETA, CO - JULY 4: The sun sets over the southern portion of the Spring Creek Fire on July 4, 2018 in La Veta, Colorado. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
LA VETA, CO - JULY 4: A relieved Dennis Ceremuga holding his horse Cody, gets ready to let local veterinarian Dr. Romy Nicoletta, left, check him out near his house in Piney Ridge Ranch on July 4, 2018 in La Veta, Colorado. Ceremuga and his wife Kate McCabe had to evacuate the night of the Spring Creek Fire and were only able to let their horses loose from their corrals. The corrals and the woods around their house burned but their 3 horses and their home survived. Because the fire was too intense the couple were unable to get to the horses until today. The horses have been in the burn area since the beginning of the fire a week ago. They were hungry and thirsty but otherwise in generally good health. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BASALT, CO - JULY 04: The streets of downtown Basalt were deserted late Wednesday night as the Lake Christine fire burns at the base of Basalt Mountain on July 4, 2018 in Basalt, Colorado. (Photo by Chris Council/Getty Images)
FT. GARLAND, CO - JULY 05: A wild land firefighter walks to camp at the Ft. Garland Community Center after spending a long day fighting the Spring Fire July 05, 2018. The Spring fire has consumed over 100,000 acres and has destroyed over 130 homes. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
LA VETA, CO - JULY 5: Veterinarian Dr. Romy Nicoletta, left, gives a hug to fire evacuee and goat owner Karen Bayci after checking on her goats at the Huerfano County Fairgrounds during the Spring Creek Fire on July 5, 2018 in La Veta, Colorado. Bayci's goat Button has been fighting an infection and has been unable to milk her 2 babies. Nicoletta has been working 24/7 to help fire displaced people and their animals all free of charge. She oversees all kinds of animals from horses and cattle to goats, dogs, cats, chickens and any other small animals. Many of the evacuated animals are at the Huerfano County Fairgrounds. She owns the Rio Cucharas Veterinary Clinic and is the first woman vet in the area ever. The clinic is taking any kinds of donations as currently Nicoletta is paying for all her medical supplies and services out of her own pocket. Bayci had to evacuate her house because of the Spring Creek Fire and took with her 14 goats, 2 mules, 6 birds, 2 cats and a chicken. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BASALT, CO - JULY 04: The Lake Christine fire burns at the base of Basalt Mountain behind the town late on the night of July 4, 2018 in Basalt, Colorado.
FT. GARLAND, CO - JULY 05: South Metro wild land firefighters Dustin Searle, left, and Wes Polk, right, unload gear after arriving back to camp at the Ft. Garland Community Center after spending a long day fighting the Spring Fire July 05, 2018. The Spring fire has consumed over 100,000 acres and has destroyed over 130 homes. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
FT. GARLAND, CO - JULY 05: A thank you card poster awaits firefighters inside the American Red Cross shelter at the Ft. Garland Community Center July 05, 2018. The Spring fire has consumed over 100,000 acres and has destroyed over 130 homes. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BASALT, CO - JULY 05: The Lake Christine fire lights up the night sky with Highway 82 in the foreground, as viewed from the trestle bridge on the Rio Grande trail near the Roaring Fork Club on July 5, 2018 in Basalt, Colorado.
LA VETA, CO - JULY 5: Veterinarian Dr. Romy Nicoletta gives Prince, a baby goat, a hug after checking on goats at Huerfano County Fairgrounds during the Spring Creek Fire on July 5, 2018 in La Veta, Colorado. Nicoletta has been working 24/7 to help fire displaced people and their animals all free of charge. She oversees all kinds of animals from horses and cattle to goats, dogs, cats, chickens and any other small animals. Many of the evacuated animals are at the Huerfano County Fairgrounds. She owns the Rio Cucharas Veterinary Clinic and is the first woman vet in the area ever. The clinic is taking any kinds of donations as currently Nicoletta is paying for all her medical supplies and services out of her own pocket. Behind her is goat owner Karen Bayci. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
LA VETA, CO - JULY 4: Two baby Mule deer fawns hide out in the shade near the spike camp for firefighters of the Spring Creek Fire on July 4, 2018 in La Veta, Colorado. The fire has now burned 94,125 acres and crews have only 5% containment. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
LA VETA, CO - JULY 3: Ty Warren leaves a pen where his father's cattle are being kept at the Huerfano County Fairgrounds where displaced people have brought their pets for safe keeping as the Spring Creek Fire continues to burn on July 3, 2018 in La Veta, Colorado. The Spring Creek Fire in Costilla county has so far burned 78,941 acres and is 5% contained. Over 100 structures have burned in the fast moving fire. All kinds of animals have been brought to the site including horses, cows, pigs, goats, dogs, ducks, and chickens. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
LA VETA, CO - JULY 3: La Veta homeowners Calvin Hopkins, left, and Cheryl Willburn watch the movement of the Spring Creek Fire as it continues to burn in Costilla county on July 3, 2018 in La Veta, Colorado. The Spring Creek Fire in Costilla county has so far burned 78,941 acres and is 5% contained. Over 100 structures have burned in the fast moving fire. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
LA VETA, CO - JULY 3: La Veta Marshall Harold Willburn watches the movement of Tthe Spring Creek Fire as it continues to burn in Costilla county on July 3, 2018 in La Veta, Colorado. The Spring Creek Fire in Costilla county has so far burned 78,941 acres and is 5% contained. Over 100 structures have burned in the fast moving fire. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
LA VETA, CO - JULY 4: Rosebud Sioux firefighter Chance Wooden Knife, left, throws a bad of ice to firefighter Smokey Kills Smart, right, at the spike camp as their Type II initial attack hand crew gets ready to head out on the Spring Creek Fire on July 4, 2018 in La Veta, Colorado. The fire has now burned 94,125 acres and crews have only 5% containment. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
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In Colorado, nine major wildfires have razed through more than 216,000 acres, according to the Rocky Mountain Coordination Center.

Crews battling the Spring Fire got a respite from hot temperatures on Thursday, with rain forecast for the region, although heavy downpours could trigger flash flooding over the burn scar, according to InciWeb, a federal wildfire website.

Near Aspen, the Lake Christine fire has enveloped more than 5,000 acres and destroyed three homes in the town of EL Jebel, the Eagle County Sheriff's Office said. The fire has not been contained and some 500 people have been ordered to evacuate.

(Additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee and Makini Brice in Washington; Editing by Larry King and Bernadette Baum)

 

 

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