MIDDLETOWN, Calif. – The latest on wildfires raging in drought-stricken California (all times local):
Residents of Middletown, the area hardest hit by a massive wildfire in California, are being allowed to return home Saturday afternoon.
Cal Fire officials say evacuations orders have been lifted for Middletown residents only and that two roads will re-open to allow them to return home. Middletown has a population of about 1,500.
The evacuation orders for other areas in Lake County remain.
The Lake County fire tore through 62 square miles in 12 hours, burning nearly 600 homes and causing thousands of residents to flee after it ignited a week ago. About 19,000 people were ordered to evacuate. The blaze had charred 116 square miles and was 48 percent contained Saturday.
California fire officials say 250 additional homes have burned in a Sierra Nevada wildfire, bringing that total to 503.
California fire officials say 250 additional homes burned in a Sierra Nevada wildfire, bringing the total to 503.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Mike Mohler says the increased count comes as firefighters make progress and damage inspection teams have access to affected areas.
The fire is burning in Amador and Calaveras counties. Two deaths have been reported. Officials had reported 252 homes destroyed as of Friday night.
The fire is 63 percent contained.
A separate blaze in Lake County has killed three people, destroyed nearly 600 homes and burned hundreds of other structures.