SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Two wildfires on opposite ends of the state prompted evacuations as a blaze in Shasta County closed in on a handful of homes and another in Santa Barbara County approached 14 ranches Tuesday afternoon.
About 111 square miles of the Los Padres National Forest, mostly inaccessible backcountry, were closed, Forest Service spokesman Maeton Freel said.
Ranchers moved their horses and other livestock as the flames crested a ridge a few miles away, Freel said.
The 3-day-old wildfire in the San Rafael Wilderness area of the forest scorched almost 33 square miles of brushy canyon lands that haven't burned since 1922.
Freel said 1,277 firefighters and water-scooping aircraft battled the blaze, which is 10 percent contained. One firefighter suffered a hernia.
About 50 miles east of Redding, firefighters evacuated 10 homes and one business in the town of Burney.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman James Stewart said fire crews are cutting more fire lines to protect houses.
The blaze has consumed almost 27 square miles since it was sparked by an Aug. 2 lightning storm. It was 67 percent contained Tuesday afternoon
Officials say 15 firefighters were injured.
Firefighters said they also are nearing containment on fires in Shasta, Lassen and Tuolumne counties.