DISASTERS

Explosive California wildfire surges overnight; Thousands chased from their homes

  • Fire fighter Luis Magana stands guard at the General Grant tree at Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)

    Fire fighter Luis Magana stands guard at the General Grant tree at Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pieces of a playground still stand at an apartment complex destroyed by fire Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in Middletown, Calif. California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Lake and Napa Counties after a wildfire charred more than 60 square miles within 12 hours, prompting thousands to flee their homes. Brown said Sunday the declaration will expedite debris removal and waive fees to people who need to replace official documents lost in the fire.  The blaze, about 100 miles north of San Francisco, has destroyed an unconfirmed number of homes and other buildings and damaged highways and other infrastructure. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

    Pieces of a playground still stand at an apartment complex destroyed by fire Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in Middletown, Calif. California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Lake and Napa Counties after a wildfire charred more than 60 square miles within 12 hours, prompting thousands to flee their homes. Brown said Sunday the declaration will expedite debris removal and waive fees to people who need to replace official documents lost in the fire. The blaze, about 100 miles north of San Francisco, has destroyed an unconfirmed number of homes and other buildings and damaged highways and other infrastructure. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)  (The Associated Press)

  • Only a frame and few items still stand at home destroyed by fire Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in Middletown, Calif. California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Lake and Napa Counties after a wildfire charred more than 60 square miles within 12 hours, prompting thousands to flee their homes. Brown said Sunday the declaration will expedite debris removal and waive fees to people who need to replace official documents lost in the fire.  The blaze, about 100 miles north of San Francisco, has destroyed an unconfirmed number of homes and other buildings and damaged highways and other infrastructure.(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

    Only a frame and few items still stand at home destroyed by fire Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in Middletown, Calif. California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Lake and Napa Counties after a wildfire charred more than 60 square miles within 12 hours, prompting thousands to flee their homes. Brown said Sunday the declaration will expedite debris removal and waive fees to people who need to replace official documents lost in the fire. The blaze, about 100 miles north of San Francisco, has destroyed an unconfirmed number of homes and other buildings and damaged highways and other infrastructure.(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)  (The Associated Press)

The latest on wildfires barreling through drought-wracked California (All times local):

7 a.m.

The destructive wildfire roaring through Northern California's parched Lake County has surged ahead, churning through an extra 23 square miles overnight.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant tweeted Sunday morning that the fire has burned up 62 1/2 square miles.

Authorities say the fire erupted in Lake County, about 100 miles north of San Francisco, Saturday afternoon and rapidly chewed through brush and trees parched from several years of drought.

An unconfirmed number of structures were destroyed. Entire towns as well as residents along a 35-mile stretch of highway were evacuated.

Four firefighters suffered second-degree burns in fighting the blaze and are hospitalized in stable condition.