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Weekend thunderstorms fuel California wildfires

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POSTED August 6, 2012 9:03 p.m.

BELDEN  (AP) — A wildfire in Northern California's Plumas National Forest has now consumed more than 21 square miles although officials say calmer winds and higher humidity helped crews battling the blaze overnight.

The Chips Fire was still at zero percent containment on Monday morning. The blaze jumped fire lines over the weekend, fueled by strong winds from thunderstorms. It is threatening 25 homes and four commercial buildings. A precautionary evacuation notice has been issued for the community of Belden, about 120 miles northeast of Sacramento, Maggie's Trailer Park and Little Haven.

Meanwhile in the Sequoia National Forest in Central California, two fires sparked by lightning on Saturday have consumed more than a square mile in a popular hiking area. Both of the fires in the Piute Complex blaze are 15 percent contained.

One of them is threatening 20 unoccupied cabin homes.

 

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