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Firefighters hold the line on two large wildfires in northern California

A CalFire spokesman says the state has had 3,000 wildfires in 2014, including 275 in the past week.

By Frances Burns
Firefighters hold the line on two large wildfires in northern California

SACRAMENTO, July 8 (UPI) -- Hundreds of firefighters continued to hold the line Tuesday on two large wildfires in Northern California.

The Butts Fire in Sonoma and Lake counties northeast of San Francisco was 95 percent contained, officials said. The fire, which was reported July 1, spread to 4,300 acres and forced hundreds of people to evacuate.

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In nearby Yolo County, the Monticello fire spread to almost 6,500 acres after it was reported Friday. Fire officials said that Tuesday morning the blaze was 55 percent contained and had stopped spreading.

The fire began near the Monticello Dam at Lake Berryessa.

A much smaller fire near Smartsville in Nevada County was quickly contained Monday at 38 acres.

California, in the midst of a major drought, has been enduring an unusually active spring and early summer fire season. Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for CalFire, said the state agency has responded to more than 3,000 fires in 2014 and 275 just in the past week.

"Most of those were very small, nobody every heard about them." Berlant told Capital Public Radio in Sacramento.

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About 2,000 firefighters have been deployed against the Butts and Monticello fires, Berlant said.

"Over 900 more fires this year compared to last year and we still have several more months of active fire season," he said. "Conditions right now are as dry as we would see them at the end of August, beginning of September."

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