Crews fight wildfires in northern Calif.

June 14, 2008 at 6:46 PM
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LOS ANGELES, June 14 (UPI) -- California firefighters say they are likely to have a 600-acre wildfire in the Santa Cruz Mountains controlled by late Saturday.

Crews worked Friday to contain three additional serious blazes stretching from Monterey County north to Tehama County, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Officials said more than 5,300 crew-members worked to put out blazes as they damaged about 50,000 acres of land, injured 14 people and burned at least 70 buildings by late Friday.

One of the most severe fires, known as the Humboldt fire, covered 22,833 acres, destroyed 50 homes and put at least 4,600 other buildings at risk in Butte County, where it started Wednesday.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant said the fire was about 20 percent contained.

About 1,500 people were forced to leave their homes in the town of Paradise Thursday as the blaze neared, the Times said.

Dying winds in Butte County have allowed crews to "make progress in containment lines," Berlant said.

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