Fire in Lake County burns 3 homes, 21 square miles

Jul 31, 2015 11:34 AM by News Staff, Photo: Brian Hickey/KCRA

LOWER LAKE, Calif. (AP) - A fast-spreading wildfire in Lake County grew overnight, charring 21 square miles and torching a third home.

It was only 5 percent contained Friday.

At least 650 residents have been evacuated from their homes as the blaze raged in hills covered in dense brush and oak trees and dotted with ranch homes. The fire is burning near Lower Lake, south of Clear Lake, a popular summer recreation spot.

The California National Guard on Thursday sent a fleet of eight helicopters to back up Cal Fire crews. They are dousing flames with water and will evacuate the injured, and help move around firefighters and their equipment.

Around the state, 14 large fires, mostly in the scorched northern half of the state, are pushing 7,000 firefighters to their limits as they battle flames amid drought.

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