California wildfires prompt thousands to evacuate, state of emergency

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Several major wildfires were burning out of control across California on Sunday, including one just outside of Sacramento where the governor has declared a state of emergency. (KABC)

At least 14 wildfires were burning across California on Sunday, including one just outside of Sacramento where the governor has declared a state of emergency.

Evacuations were expanded in Butte County, above Sacramento, as the Wall Fire raced west. Flames were rapidly tearing their way through the Sierra Nevada foothills, in what some said looked like a tornado of smoke and fire.

The fire was 5,600 acres wide and 25 percent contained as of Sunday night.

According to Cal Fire officials, 17 structures were destroyed and five more were damaged, leading Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency to provide assistance to local authorities. A total of 5,400 more structures were threatened as the fast and unpredictable blaze continued.

Over 4,000 residents were evacuated in the area.

The Wall Fire started just before 3 p.m. Friday at Chinese Wall Road, about 5 miles north of Bangor, according to Cal Fire officials.

MORE: Campers, many from SoCal, evacuated in Lake Cachuma fire
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A firefight was continuing in Santa Barbara County on Sunday as crews were battling out-of-control brush fires, one of them trapping dozens of young campers.


Meantime, two major brush fires in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties continued to burn fiercely. The Whittier Fire near Lake Cachuma charred 7,800 acres and was just 5 percent contained. Dozens of kids at a summer camp were caught by the fire, which destroyed at least 20 structures in the area.

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The Alamo Fire has burned 23,867 acres in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties and was 10 percent contained as of Sunday afternoon, officials said.


The Alamo Fire exploded in size to 24,000 acres near San Luis Obispo. More than 1,600 firefighters were out on the front lines working to raise containment, which stood at 15 percent Sunday night.

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