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DISASTERS

Thousands of firefighters kept busy battling 6 blazes in California; some evacuations ordered

Thousands of federal, state and local firefighters are feverishly attacking six major wildfires in central and far northern California, four of which grew rapidly overnight and prompted evacuations of homes, vacation cabins and recreation areas.

CalFire spokesman Dennis Mathisen says the scope and intensity of the blazes burning Saturday, three of them sparked by dry lightning, are comparable to the fire activity California doesn't usually see until September.

Mathisen says the only silver lining is that the fires are mostly located in forests and sparsely population rural areas, so fewer homes are threatened and fewer people have had to evacuate.

One of the most serious was burning in Modoc County near the community of Day. It started Wednesday and had torched nearly 19.5 square miles by Saturday morning. A community of 150 homes called Lookout Ranchettes is under evacuation.

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