August 14, 2009 in Nation/World

California wildfires force evacuations

Brooke Donald Associated Press
AP Photo/San Francisco Chronicle, Michael Macor photo

Don Louv watches the progress of the Lockheed fire in Bonny Doon, Calif., on Thursday. AP Photo/San Francisco Chronicle, Michael Macor
(Full-size photo)

DAVENPORT, Calif. – Thousands of firefighters battled wildfires across California on Thursday, including a growing blaze that forced about 2,400 people to evacuate their homes in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The Lockheed fire, which started around 7 p.m. Wednesday, had scorched about 2,800 acres, or 4.4 square miles, in Santa Cruz County.

The blaze, about 10 miles north of the coastal city of Santa Cruz, threatened more than 1,000 homes and other buildings and was not contained by late Thursday.

Authorities issued a mandatory evacuation order Thursday for the entire community of Bonny Doon, which has about 2,000 residents and several wineries.

Everyone also has been ordered to leave the nearby community of Swanton, where about 400 people live.

Farther down the coast, more than 1,800 firefighters were trying to control a wildfire in northern Santa Barbara County that has grown to 75 square miles. More than 170 homes and ranches have been evacuated since the La Brea Fire started Saturday.

In far northern California, two separate wildfires forced the evacuation of more than 30 homes.

In Trinity County, about 25 homes were evacuated as gusty winds fed the Coffin fire, which has burned about 1.9 square miles near Lewiston. The mountain community 30 miles west of Redding is home to 1,300 people.

Farther east, a fire covering more than 27 square miles forced the evacuation of 10 homes about 10 miles northwest of Burney, which is located 200 miles north of Sacramento.

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